Export China 2021 (1st half)

Given travel restrictions, the perception of the real performance of the economy can easily be distorted. A look at the objectivity of numbers.

Tabella dei Contenuti

General trend

The point on China 2021 export trends (and in the rest of the Asian region) by analyzing, specifically, two important reports, recently published: “35th Report on Italy’s Foreign Trade” by ICE-ISTAT and “China2021” by the Italy-China Foundation.

Despite the upheaval and trade restrictions given by the pandemic, however in 2020 China was the 9th largest market for Italian products.

2021 looks to bring overall China export levels back to pre-Covid periods, with the first four months at +4.2 percent over the same period in 2019 (+19.8 percent trend).
So Italy is doing well, better than France, the UK and the U.S. in catching up, but what I would like to emphasize is what the president of ICE claimed

"it is necessary tolook at the mega trends: digitization, innovation and sustainability, the shift of world trade to Asia, as well as it is necessary to broaden the pool of Italian exporting companies, with special reference to SMEs, start-ups and companies in the South . "

Charles Iron

ICE President

These statements represent a long-term concept that must be introjected and remain ever present in strategic business decisions: we are in the Asian century, the shift in the center of gravity of business is in Asian countries. This is a fact that will explode its effects for decades to come; to stay out of it is folly.

Export China 2021 (first half)

According to the reports data, Italian exports to the Chinese market in January-April 2021 grew by 55 percent-the best performance for Italy (followed by Poland and the Netherlands with +32.9 percent).

Remarkable figures that (according to China Customs, which released the report updated to the first half of 2021) should further improve: for Italy, China’s exports are estimated at USD 15.48 billion, or with a Record year-on-year increase of 72.2 percent! Italy-China trade interchange (import+export) would rank first among major EU countries.

Among the wide variety of goods and products, Italy's China exports include more than 20 that have seen sales double year-on-year (and among them, women's handbags and agri-food products have seen the most dramatic growth, with an increase of nearly 200 percent).
* Statistical data from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce covering the first 5 months of 2021

Future Perspectives

Short term: according to Prof. Sun Yanhong1 in the second half of the year, economic-trade cooperation between the two countries will see further strengthening, and trade interchange will also record a new historical high.

1 researcher of the European Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and general secretary of Italian research of the Chinese Association for European Studies.

Medium to long term: the ICE-ISTAT report sees the Asian region as having the highest growth in the 2022/2029 period.

Opportunities for Italian companies

It is clear that regardless of who the incumbent U.S. or Chinese president is, strategic reasons lead to a competition between the only two true world Superpowers.
The pandemic has brutally highlighted the danger of having destroyed entire production sectors, and the arrangement determined in the 1990-2020 period, which saw the relocation to China of any production chain without any qualms, is now over!

The goals of both countries are to reduce mutual dependence. Supply chains will, therefore, be redefined (and shortened), also taking into good consideration the geopolitical reliability of the country where they are located.

For Italian companies, in these years, there will be enormous and unique opportunities to supply to both superpowers, of the trains that will not pass again for a century.

I would like to conclude by associating myself with the statements made by the president of the Italy China Foundation, Mario Boselli:

"China is already, and will be even more so in the coming years, one of the big players in the post-Covid-19 recovery. We are well aware that what happens there has immediate and profound effects on other countries as well, and we are confident that the Chinese restart will soon be followed by a global restart. We need to be ready for what will happen in the short term, when those initiatives and events that will allow us to interact again with such a promising market will restart.".

Mario Boselli

President Italy-China Foundation

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