Business / Economy

Lombardy pushes for more Chinese investors

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-30 11:23

MILAN - "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 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.

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