What does it mean for Italy to become the first member of the ‘Group of Seven’ most powerful nations to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)?
At the heart of it, the BRI is an initiative to speed Chinese goods to markets and involves major infrastructure projects along what China has termed the “New Silk Road”.
After recent events in Italy such as the collapse of the Genoa bridge in August which killed dozens of people, Italy’s crumbling infrastructure has come to the forefront as a political issue for the first time in decades. The BRI offers a potential flood of investment and greater access to Chinese markets and raw materials.
For China, the “made in Italy” label carries a reputation for quality worldwide, and is legally protected for products items processed “mainly” in Italy.
Agreements that foster infrastructure development for rapid trade will ultimately benefit consumers, and will attract criticism from political parties.