Interview: Lombardy region president pushes for more Chinese investors
by Grandesso Federico and Yan Lei
Milan, Italy, April 29 (Greenpost) — “More Chinese investors should come to Lombardy, they are welcome, there are many opportunities in the region and we are going to show them during the Expo,” Roberto Maroni, president of Lombardy Region said.
“There are many success stories, all investors are welcome, now we promote an initiative called ‘invest in Lombardy’ because we value your business,” the president said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua two days before the opening of Expo Milano.
” We have a vocation to innovation and research, we have 13 universities, 500 research centers both private and public, all the most important ICT companies are based in Milan and Lombardy,” he added.
Lombardy enjoys an exceptional climate for entrepreneurs and the president explains that there are one million companies out of ten million inhabitants, these companies are mainly SMEs and called “family companies ” which need help to be competitive in the world so investments from outside are welcome. Lombardy hosts 18,000 foreign companies.
He said: “For us, to attract investments means not only to come here with a new company and do what you normally do in China but we want to magnetize investment funds to help our companies to become part of our economic system.”
He said: “Investors have many choices; our ICT companies are excellent, some of them are even collaborating with NASA; then we are considered a number one manufacturing region,” he continued.
“Lombardy is agriculture and food production region in Italy, for example, a company near Brescia produces 24 tons of caviar per year exporting it even to Russia,” he said.
According to Maroni new investors can help the brand of “Made in Italy”. He explained that the Italian style and the Made in Italy is something unique and the problem is that most of the more successful Italian products are not produced in Italy.
“As food is concerned the total Italian export per year is 30 billion euros while the so called ‘Italian sounding’ or fake Italian is 60 billion euros,” he added.
“For this reason we welcome investment in the Made in Italy because this reinforces our possibility to increase the volumes of export,” the president explained.
Maroni said: “In 2013 Lombardy exported to China products for more than 3 billion euros while we imported products of 9 billion euros and our exports to China have increased 6 percent from 2012. Then over 100 Lombardy companies are involved with China with a total amount turnover of over 4 billion euros and more than 6000 employees.”
Maroni said he wants to visit China. “Till now I didn’t manage it but I want to go, I know the country and its evolution. I’m very impressed with the Chinese evolution from many points of view starting from the economy, the new landscapes in many towns and the rate of speed they have in every fields,” he said.
“China is more and more appreciated by the Italians and we want to support this evolution thanks to good relations between Lombardy, Italy and China,” he explained.
The president concluded his interview with a message: “Come to visit the Expo, Milan and Lombardy. Lombardy is a world heritage site, we have ten UNESCO sites. You have to visit our beauties and meet with our culture and food.” Enditem
Editor Xuefei Chen Axelsson