In the European Economic Community Italy plays a role of an important partnership in trade with China. In 1970, the trade value of the two countries was merely US$ 120 million. In 2001 the bilateral trade value came to US$ 7.782 billion, an increase of 13.1 percent as compared to that in the corresponding period of the year before. The year of 2002 witnessed the bilateral trade value to reach US$ 9.147 billion, hitting a record in history and a rise of 17.6 percent, of which the Chinese exports accounted for US$ 4.827 billion and the imports made up 4.32 billion in the US dollars. The major export commodities from China to Italy include: garments and attached parts, textile yarns, woven goods and products, shoes, articles and boxes used in travel and tourism, goat downs, toys, equipment for automatic digital processing and accessories, plastic products and medical goods and so on. The major commodities China imports from Italy consist of: weaving machines, cow and horse hides, TV displaying tube, metal processing lathe, rubber and plastic processing machine, medical goods, tobacco processing machine, moulder and swaging-box for metal shaping, TV sets, radio and wireless communication equipment and accessories, automatic-control equipment for metrological monitoring and analysis and other apparatuses.
(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China)
Italy is ranked sixth among OECD countries and fourth among European countries for Gross Domestic Product, Italian production constituting more than 13% of the European Union's GDP. As a result of the nature of its productive system, Italy's division into sectors of economic activity is similar to that of the principle European countries, with 27.7% devoted to manufacturing and construction and almost 70% to services. Of this latter sector, trade, transport and communications absorb an above average portion of GDP as compared with other European countries. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean, Italy is a crucial crossroads for land, sea and air routes linking the North and South of Europe.
The Italian market offers countless opportunities to businesses in expansion, with almost 60 million consumers and a GDP ranked fourth in the European Union. Thanks to its strategic placement, Italy makes it easy to reach the 396 million consumers of the other Union member countries and the 240 million of North Africa and the Middle East. It has also taken a leading position on the European market (11%), with an annual turnover of approximately 65 billion euro. Of all European countries Italy has the lowest start-up costs for the biotechnology sector, and takes second place for product testing in research and development, chemicals and electronics.
(Source: Consulate General of Italy in Hong Kong)