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China is driving the growth of Italian exports in the first quarter of 2021
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China is driving the growth of Italian exports in the first quarter of 2021

Last November, monthly Italian exports started to grow again by 2.7%, after months of significant setbacks. China stood out as the main export market, up by 35%, compared to pre-Covid levels, almost canceling out the negative balance of the first 11 months of 2020 and overtaking the US. In fact, trade between China and the EU was worth $709 billion last year, while trade between the US and the bloc was worth $671 billion. This rise did not stop in 2021 either, with Chinese imports from Italy soaring up to 63%.

Thus, the Chinese presence in Italy's market continues to stand out significantly amongst the rest, demonstrating how its economy was the only one to get back on track fairly quickly, ready to reap all the benefits after a very severe lockdown. Massive purchases in the fashion and luxury sector have also resumed in China once again, and its luxury market is even on the path to become the world's largest luxury market within the next few years, according to some analysts.


Italy has always been one of China’s most important trading partners and is currently participating actively in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as the New Silk Road. Launched in 2013 by president XI Jinping, this long-term, ambitious project is for the trade development of China and strives to upgrade maritime and road transport infrastructure to facilitate trade exchanges between Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Moreover, the EU and China are also planning on signing a proposed investment deal called the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). This deal will govern bilateral investments between the two sides while improving transparency, investment protection, and market access, signaling how China may play an even more significant role in boosting Italian exports in the near future.

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