Thu, 22 Oct 2020

ROME, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Italy's exports to China grew by 4.8 percent in August this year compared to the same month last year, even as Italian exports towards non-European Union (EU) countries overall dropped by 11.7 percent in the same period, according to the latest data issued by Italy's National Statistics Institute (ISTAT).

This comes after exports to China from Italy jumped by 14 percent in July compared to the same month last year.

The two months' steady increase in exports from Italy to China came after two months of the downturn: Italian exports to China fell by 3.3 percent in June 2020 compared to June 2019, and by a whopping 25.6 percent in May 2020 compared to the same month last year, according to ISTAT.

However, the 25.6-percent drop in May -- when the Italian economy first emerged from a two-month anti-COVID lockdown -- came amid a 31-percent fall in Italy's exports to non-EU countries overall, ISTAT reported. A POSSIBLE EXPLANATION

A look at a recent analysis by the Milan-based Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), an influential think tank, provides a possible explanation for why Italy's exports to China seem to be recovering in the wake of the pandemic, while exports to its other trading partners lag.

The analysis, which looks at the impact of the pandemic on the global economy, points out that China was the first country in the world to successfully contain the pandemic and restart its economy.

"In the second quarter of the year, thanks also to the easing of (anti-COVID-19) containment measures, China came out of recession," the ISPI report said, calling this positive outcome "an absolute exception among the Group of Twenty (G20) nations."

According to forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy will contract by 4.9 percent due to the spread of the new coronavirus and its effects, the ISPI report explained.

However, this contraction "will not be perceived in the same way by the various countries and regions of the world," wrote Alessandro Gili, an associate research fellow at the ISPI Center for Infrastructure and Business Scenarios.

"The different levels of exposure to the (COVID-19) illness, the different strategies and capacity for recovery in both the short and the long term... will be key elements in the post-COVID scenario," Gili wrote.

In its "China 2020" annual report, the Study Center for Businesses of the Italy China Foundation (CeSiF, in its Italian acronym), wrote that "China is central in the relaunch strategies of exporting companies after COVID-19" because although its economy slows down due to the pandemic, its growth will still be higher than that of other countries. WHAT ITALY EXPORTS TO CHINA

Italy exported to China goods worth a total of 14.54 billion U.S. dollars during 2019, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

The top-selling categories of Italian exports to China in 2019 were machinery (4.41 billion dollars) and pharmaceutical products (1.07 billion dollars).

These categories were followed by vehicles other than trains and trams (734.99 million dollars), apparel (677.52 million dollars), and electrical and electronic equipment (628.94 million U.S. dollars), according to COMTRADE and Trading Economics.

In 2019, Italian exports to China made up 2.7 percent of Italy's total foreign trade, according to ISTAT.

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