Görg: Italy’s BRI-withdrawal would only cause a symbolic damage to China
In 2019 the European Union (EU) published its new China strategy “EU-China: A Strategic Outlook”, where the EU for the first time officially described China as a partner, but also as an economic competitor and a systemic rival. In the same year, Italy, the third-largest economy in the EU, joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). With the BRI membership, Italy and China aimed at intensifying their cooperation in many fields, including cooperation for expanding bilateral investments and trade and for industrial cooperation. But only four years later, Italy now signals its willingness to withdraw from the BRI.
Against this background, Prof. Holger Görg, Ph.D. (KCG Managing Director) gave an interview to the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) to share his view on whether Italy has benefited from its BRI membership, on reasons behind its withdrawal from BRI and on whether many other countries may follow Italy’s decision to turn their back on BRI in the future.
Görg sees Italy’s BRI-withdrawal “at least in part” as an attempt to reduce the country’s economic dependence on China. It may, however, only cause a symbolic damage to China, since Italy is just a small trading partner of China. In his opinion, it is rather unlikely that Italy’s withdrawal would encourage many other countries to leave the BRI.
More information about the interview (in German) can be found here:
Nach Italiens Austritt aus dem Projekt Seidenstraße: Folgen bald noch weitere Länder? (After Italy’s withdrawal from the Belt and Road Initiative: Will more countries soon follow?), Sven Christian Schulz / RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (03.08.2023)
Contact: Prof. Holger Görg, Ph.D. (Holger.Goerg@ifw-kiel.de; +49(0)431-8814-258)