Web Comments

Knowledge of Chinese culture necessary for businessmen

Updated: 2010-10-02 09:55
Large Medium Small

MILAN, Italy - Understanding Chinese culture is important as China's role is growing in the world economy, the rector of Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Carlo Carraro, told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday.

"Since its foundation in 1868 as the first institution in Italy to deal with higher education in the fields of commerce and economics, Ca' Foscari University has been giving great importance to the study of Chinese culture," Carraro said.

In the university's founding document, he noted, it was clearly written that doing business with East Asian countries is impossible without first studying their cultures.

Carraro stressed that the recent launch of the Chinese Culture Year in Italy is a precious opportunity to acquaint many Italians with the Chinese culture.

"For this special year we already have many events on the agenda, like a big Chinese art exhibition and a number of workshops on Chinese literature and economy, aimed at spreading the knowledge and the love for Chinese culture, organized also with the help of Confucius Institutes," he said.

Public interest in China is continuously growing in Venice, homeland of the ancient traveler Marco Polo, who reached China in the 13th century. In the university's Department of East Asia Studies, Chinese is the most studied language with a total of over 1,500 students, and the number is still increasing by 5 to 10 percent each year.

"Studying Mandarin is the first important step to go deeper into such a complex and fascinating culture, the understanding of which is necessary for working with China," said the rector.

"Thanks to new technologies, communication and exchanges between universities of the two countries are much easier than in the past, making the students' meeting with different cultures more smooth and natural," he said.

Carraro, who is also a renowned professor of Environment Economics, just came back from Shanghai, where he participated in a workshop with environmental experts from both Italian and Chinese universities.

"Italian and Chinese institutions are working side by side on green technologies, in particular sustainable housing. A new project about coping with climate change in China's coastal areas will be launched next year," Carraro said, adding that the Sino- Italian Cooperation Program for Environmental Protection, started in 2004, has achieved outstanding results.

"It was pleasantly surprising, in my recent trip to China, to come across a consistent number of former students of our university, who presently work shoulder to shoulder with Chinese colleagues in various fields and consider this country their second beloved homeland," he told Xinhua.