Chinese direct investments into Italy: from a creek to a river? - Chinese outbound direct investments have experienced a strong increase in the last five years, spurred by the "Go Abroad" policy launched by the Chinese Government in 2002. Europe still ranks at the bottom of the list among the destinations of Chinese direct investments, but it is the fastest growing one. Within Europe, Italy is a late comer in attracting Chinese investments, but has been catching up quickly in the last few years. Investments have been made mostly in the logistics and in the manufacturing sector. In 2008 the acquisition of Cifa, a leading producer of cement-working machines, by Zoomlion signalled an important step in the history of Chinese investments in Italy. It is the largest Chinese acquisition in Europe so far and for the first time the Chinese investor is looking at integrating foreign management into its own managing structure. On average the size of Chinese companies investing in Italy is much larger than that of Italian companies looking at China for expansion. Furthermore, Chinese firms are focusing increasingly on manufacturing companies and are shunning those that do not appear in good shape. Acquiring a market share in Europe is the primary aim of Chinese companies investing in Italy, while the acquisition of technological skills plays a secondary role.
Keywords: foreign direct investments, China, Italian industry, acquisitions
Parole chiave: investimenti diretti all’estero, Cina, industria italiana, acquisizioni
Jel Classification: F2