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Italy and Shaanxi: new synergies along the Silk Road

As part of its outreach to the Chinese Provinces and regional cities, on November 10th and 11th the Italian Embassy in Beijing organized a mission to Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province. Xi’an and Shaanxi are important for historical reasons (the cradle of Chinese civilization and starting point of the ancient Silk Road, linking Xi’an to Rome), for economic reasons (national centre of the aviation industry and point of passage of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping) as well as for tourism.

During the visit, Italian Ambassador Ettore Sequi opened the Forum on the “Shaanxi-Italy bilateral cooperation along the new Silk Road”, during which the Italian expertise in the aerospace, health, environment and tourism sectors was presented to local Authorities and companies. “Todays’ Forum can provide an important contribution to the One Belt, One Road project,” said Ambassador Sequi in his opening speech.

At the forum were present, together with a large number of Chinese entrepreneurs, the companies belonging to the Italian Aerospace Network (IAN) consortium, the Italian multi-utility Hera, the Health Working Group of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in China and several Italian tour operators established in China.

On the margins of the Forum, Ambassador Sequi had bilateral meetings with the Mayor of Xi’an, Mr Dong Jun and the Governor of Shaanxi, Mr Lou Qinjian, with whom he discussed the possibility of strengthening bilateral cooperation along the new Silk Road through multi-sector projects.

During the meetings, Ambassador Sequi stressed: “Italy, point of arrival of the ancient Silk Road, can now return to being a protagonist in the Eurasian region thanks to the creation of a new partnership with Shaanxi, focused on aerospace, environment, health and tourism”.

Over the course of the visit, the launch of a new direct flight connecting Xi’an to Rome (starting December 9th) and the forthcoming opening of an Italian visa centre in the city were made public. It was also announced that a new Forum, dedicated to Italian restoration technologies and organized in cooperation with the Italian Trade Agency (ICE), will take place in Xi’an in December.