The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Italy-China

“The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Investments, Trade and GVCs: the Role of Italy" is the research project presented by CDP in Trieste, as part of the Belt and Road Summit, the annual international event that brings together business leaders and institutional authorities from all over Eurasia.

The data that emerged from the analysis, carried out by CDP’s Research and Studies Area in collaboration with The European House - Ambrosetti and the Italy-ASEAN Association, reveal the extraordinary business and investment opportunities offered by the New Maritime Silk Road for Italy.

There are more than 600 projects in progress or planned in 29 countries worth around US$1 trillion in a wide range of sectors, from transport and real estate to the energy sector.

The countries of the main areas concerned (East Africa, ASEAN, Eastern Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf, Indian Subcontinent) are expected to grow significantly in the coming years and are important business partners for Italy, accounting for 9% of exports and about 10% of imports. In addition, in the last 15 years these countries have attracted about US$56 billion of Italian investment in both greenfield and brownfield projects.

Italy’s presence along the route is tangible, with around 4% of Italian exports integrated into Global Value Chains linked to these countries, in the chemical and petrochemical, transport, metal products, mechanics and electronics sectors, and with more than 3,000 Italian companies operating locally.

Nevertheless, Italy shows some gaps with respect to the other major advanced economies and must take advantage of the broad scope for improvement of its positioning to seize the enormous potential offered by the Belt and Road and other major initiatives related to Eurasian connectivity, participating in the implementation of profitable, financially sustainable and mutually beneficial projects.