In Beijing, SIMEST – the company that together with SACE forms the export and internationalisation hub of the CDP Group – met Italian entrepreneurs in China to present the support opportunities available to companies wishing to expand internationally and consolidate their position abroad. As a guest at the Italian Embassy, CEO Alessandra Ricci took part in a seminar on "Public financial instruments to support Italian companies in China", organised in collaboration with the Italian Trade & Investment Agency and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in China.
The event, part of the "China changes, Italy restarts" seminars, dedicated to the challenges Italian companies encounter in the country, was attended by approximately 100 entrepreneurs, managers and professional consultants who, together for the first time, joined a video conference at the Embassy in Beijing from different Italian diplomatic offices across China (Shanghai, Canton, Chonqqing, Hong Kong). The seminar's video materials will also be available on the website of the Italian Embassy in Beijing.
Ambassador Sequi opened the work session by underlining the importance of maintaining a direct channel of communication between Italian Institutions and companies in China. "With exports worth over 11 billion euros in 2016, China is the first destination market for Italian goods in the Asian-Pacific area, worth one third of the total export value. The Embassy has been collaborating with Italian companies in China to maximise the opportunities provided by this dynamic and evolving economy: from the new "Silk Road" to the "Made in China 2025" programme, from e-commerce to the opportunities in the new, more eco-sustainable urban areas, including the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. In this context, providing information about the public financial instruments available to support Italian companies that wish to do business with China, or invest in China, is essential in a market filled with both opportunities and challenges.
SIMEST's CEO, Alessandra Ricci, said "China is one of the 15 countries we selected to promote Made in Italy, which all together, in 2020, will be worth over 100 billion and are, therefore, essential destinations for our exports". Taking into account also the surrounding markets, the resources mobilized by SACE in 2017 in the Far East are worth around 89 million euros, with an exposure of approximately 820 million on 30 September.
China is not only one of the top export destinations, it is also among the top 5 countries in the world from an Investment Opportunity Index point of view, therefore, it is very attractive to Italian companies looking to invest directly abroad. It is no coincidence that for SIMEST's participation acquisition activity, China is historically considered a very important destination: “Currently we have a portfolio of 44 direct investments in companies owned by Italian groups, for a total of 46 million euros and to date we have acquired 158 participations for a total of 207 million euros”, said Ricci.
But the role of the export and internationalisation hub is not just to consolidate the position of Italian companies that have already expanded abroad, but also to help smaller companies take the first steps towards international growth. “SIMEST does this by offering soft loans for internationalisation, that allow companies to discover opportunities and make a name for themselves; these loans have very low rates, currently 0,082% per year, and can be used for feasibility studies, to take part in trade fairs and promotional events, open a first liaison office, provide a financial boost to become more competitive in terms of exports”, Ricci concluded, highlighting the fact that SIMEST has granted 301 million euros in 408 different financing operations in Cina, 90 of which in the last year alone”.
Contact details for the media:
Tel: +39 06 68635.777
SIMEST is part of the CDP Group, 76% controlled by SACE and invested in by leading Italian banks and business associations. SIMEST and SACE form the export and internationalisation hub of the CDP Group, which offers all the financial instruments to support Italian companies interested in competing and expanding internationally. In particular, SIMEST supports companies throughout their entire international development process, providing soft loans for internationalisation, export credit support and equity investments.