Consorzio Collio 2024 (175x100)

Italy-China bilateral meeting in Verona: wine is a symbol of economic and cultural cooperation

Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani with Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao. Our wine exports to China are worth more than 100 million

In 2023 the value of made-in-Italy wine exports to China amounted to 100.1 million euros (-10.22%), while more generally agri-food exports stood at 579 million (+4.1%): a result that is also aimed at increasing through the important “face-to-face” meeting, staged yesterday in Verona, between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Council Vice President Antonio Tajani and Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao, in a bilateral during the work of the Italy-China Business Dialogue Forum. The focus of the meeting was precisely the important trade relations with the country of the Dragon, including the wine sector, which is an important symbol of economic and cultural cooperation. “The choice of Verona as the venue for the meeting was not accidental”, explains Christian Marchesini, president of the Valpolicella Wines Consortium, “Veneto is an area with a strong industrial and export-oriented vocation, and as a Consortium, precisely in China, we have been working for several years”. In particular, the total turnover of Amarone della Valpolicella, one of the flagships of the region’s wine production, is 350 million euros, of which 5% is exported to China, with an estimated value of 17.5 million euros.
Christian Marchesini, who on behalf of the Valpolicella Consortium presented Ministers Tajani and Wentao with a bottle of Amarone, emphasized the importance of Valpolicella and the Italian wine sector in the country’s economy, pointing out how crucial it is to maintain and strengthen trade ties with China. “Numerous consortium activities in 2024 in the country of the Dragon”, he added, “from the Winecon trade fair in Chengdu, to seminars to be held in Beijing and Guangzhou in June and July, as well as communication campaigns on the microblogging social network Wechat, launched in 2021”.
This new chapter in the bilateral collaboration between Italy and China - which sees, for the second day, the participation of both Italian and Chinese entrepreneurs, particularly in the agri-food, e-commerce, pharmaceutical and biomedical sectors - is ideally inspired by the Venetian explorer, Marco Polo, to whom the first event in Venice of the Chinese delegation’s two-day visit to Italy was dedicated, on the occasion of anniversary no. 700 since his death.
According to Coldiretti and Filiera Italia, it emerged from the Forum that agribusiness is a priority and central sector for both countries, which also consider it strategic for the future world geopolitical balance (Chinese agribusiness imports to our country are worth the 875 million, down -21.4 %). “Today the agrifood interchange between the two countries is too limited compared to the potential”, says Luigi Scordamaglia, CEO of Filiera Italia, “it is very positive that this appointment was an opportunity to raise the awareness of the Chinese government on these aspects and on which both governments have already shared important commitments. But the Forum was also an equally relevant opportunity to highlight potential partnerships that can be activated in the agrifood sector”.
In the “white paper” for China’s green development, goals and actions are reiterated to support the industrialization of grain production, in terms of increasing the quality production and safety of more than 63,000 green, organic and GI agricultural products, reducing pesticides and increasing the sustainability of livestock farming. Italy can be China’s ideal partner country on these objectives, because it is a leader in terms of quality and distinctive productions (326 products and 529 wines), and holds, according to Coldiretti, the European record for the number of organic producers (one-sixth of those in Europe), is among the first countries in the world in the application of “precision farming” techniques aimed at the preservation and increased fertility of soils and the reduction of the use of productive inputs, as well as smart irrigation and digital data management techniques in agriculture. Finally, Italian agri-food products are characterized by maximum safety, as shown by Efsa data, which show for chemical contaminants a presence of only 0.6% of Italian products.

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