Italy signs MoU with China to develop marine ports

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands after signing trade agreements at Villa Madama in Rome, Italy March 23, 2019. Credit REUTERS/Yara Nardi

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and President Xi Jinping of China, to jointly invest and develop Italy’s ports and harbours.

This investment in infrastructure is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) a multi-billion-dollar plan to finance and develop infrastructure in Europe and around the world.

The main focus of the agreement will be the improvement and modernisation of the Italian ports of Genoa and Trieste, through the China communications construction company.

The agreement was signed amidst criticism from not just the EU but the US as well, as Italy is the first country as a member of the G7 to sign such a deal with China. This initiative is a continuation of China’s development of Italy’s ports as they started work in 2016 on constructing Italy’s first automated container terminal port in Vado Ligure.