MILAN, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Almost 80 percent of Italian companies see China as a potential end market and an "opportunity not to be missed," according to a survey by the Italy-China Foundation. One-hundred and eighty Italian companies were surveyed for the report released Wednesday during an online event.
The report, "Consumption as a driver of Italy-China relations: scenario analysis and indications for partners and enterprises," identifies China's domestic consumption as a key factor for future Italian exports. It also analyzes the latest trends in Chinese consumption, and gauges Italian enterprises' perception of the Chinese market.
The release event was attended via video link by the Chinese Ambassador to Italy Li Junhua, and Italian Ambassador to China Luca Ferrari.
According to the report, almost 80 percent of the companies surveyed see China increasingly as an outlet market, while 84 percent said doing business in China was a "positive experience." And 29.3 percent of the companies surveyed were large enterprises, while 70.7 percent were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These are crucial to Italy's entrepreneurial fabric, and are mainly active in machinery, as well as the mechanical, food & beverage, and pharmaceutical industries.
As highlighted in the report, China's domestic consumption, which currently accounts for 54.3 percent of the country's GDP despite the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to double by 2030. China is set to account for 44 percent of global consumption by 2040, according to a forecast by Oxford Economics.
"I believe China is going to increasingly become a laboratory for the future, it will have more innovation than the rest of the world, and for this reason Italian enterprises will have to be there," said Italy-China Foundation President Mario Boselli.
To that end, 44 percent of the companies that took part in the report showed interest in participating in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in the future, while 60.9 percent of the surveyed considered it a "very useful tool to promote trade relations with Chinese counterparts."
In the report's preface, Boselli writes that domestic consumption, alongside innovation and increasing digitalization, will be major drivers in China's economic growth in the coming years, and Italian companies will have to make adjustments in order to stay competitive. Events like the CIIE provide Italian companies with a valuable opportunity to directly test their products among Chinese consumers.
"The consumption spree in China is a phenomenon that Italian enterprises will have to closely monitor if they want to find their spot in a potentially immense market such as the Chinese one," said Boselli.