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China still driver of global economy: Italian experts

Updated: Feb 10,2016 11:44 AM     Xinhua

MILAN — A number of Italian experts and entrepreneurs are not worried about the economic slowdown of China, which they said still makes sizable contributions to the global economic growth and has considerable development potential.

China was viewed “as a huge development market” when iGuzzini, a leading Italian company in the lighting design sector, made its first investment in China years ago, said company president Adolfo Guzzini.

China’s market, with its large presence of research centers and universities, is a “very open and strong challenger” able to further push the development of Italian top companies, said Guzzini, whose company now owns a plant in China that now employs 250 people.

Despite China’s economic growth slowed to a 25-year low in 2015, the 6.9 percent growth rate was still outstanding against the backdrop of a sluggish world economy, he noted.

Maurizio Tamagnini, CEO of Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI), a risk capital investment company with 4.4 billion euros ($4.97 billion) of equity commitments, sees China as “a patient investor with a long-term perspective, a huge economy offering opportunities that are complementary to the Italian economy.”

“China means great opportunities for our companies, which are excellent in research and innovation but need big markets to strengthen their growth. At the same time, China is looking at our entrepreneurial world to develop a stronger presence in key sectors such as mechanics, food, health and many others,” he said.

Enrico Mentana, a journalist and director of Italian television channel LA7’s newscast, highlighted China’s important role in the global economy.

“We have to consider first of all that China’s economic situation is influenced by a vivid market of 1.3 billion people,” he said.

“When we say that the world economy is up 2.5 percentage points, we have to consider that China plays a big role in this growth. And when we talk about the world trade rise, a large slice is also determined by China.” Mentana added.

“China has made incredibly fast steps and has contributed to globalization in a decisive way, but we are not yet realizing how huge is the strength of a country whose population represents a fifth of humankind and can represent a fifth of the world also in other fields,” he said.

In his view, the world should not be worried about an economy that has registered a growth rate above 6 percent in 2015.

“Of course China has to face a series of challenges in the coming years, but it is clear that the country will continue to be a fundamental engine of global growth and will certainly not be the cause of a possible economic crisis, given that Western countries have faced years of recession,” he pointed out.

For Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, president of Italian flagship airline Alitalia and chairman of the promoting committee for the Rome candidacy at the 2024 Olympic Games, China’s slowdown was not worrisome.

“I am not worried. We have to remember that we are talking about a big country, a huge market, a nation of young people with a great future ahead,” he said.