Interview: Italian PM says globalization is not enemy

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-11 20:37:02|Editor: xuxin
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by Stefania Fumo

ROME, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Globalization is not the enemy and it is a government's job to protect citizens from its adverse effects, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has said.

The Italian prime minister made the remarks on Wednesday in an interview with several Rome-based Chinese media outlets before attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on May 14 and 15.

"One can't suddenly become the enemy of globalization, which has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, especially in Asia and Latin America," Gentiloni said.

Gentiloni said that globalization can have negative consequences for some traditional sectors in Western economies, but this is where policymakers must step in to create social protections, he said.

"Those who incur the (negative) consequences of globalization must not be used, but protected," Gentiloni said.

"It is the task of governments to deal with these difficulties, and not to utilize them against trade and openness to globalization."

Competition forces economies to innovate, and countries with a good rhythm of innovation can withstand competition, Gentiloni said.

"Of course, if you keep manufacturing the same products as 50 years ago, no doubt many other countries will find cheaper ways to produce the same if not better quality product," he said.

Gentiloni said the key to economic success is to "have a specialty, know-how, and a tradition."

For these reasons, the Italian leader said he was in "absolute agreement" with a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in which he said that all countries were in the same boat and shared a common destiny.

"This doesn't mean that we don't have some trade negotiations between China and the European Union (EU) that don't need fine-tuning," Gentiloni added.

However, foreign trade and openness to the outside world have been part of Italy's mindset and culture since the seafaring city-states of the Middle Ages plied the Mediterranean with their trading ships.

Centuries later, export-related businesses remain the drivers of the Italian economy even during the downturn that began in 2008, the Italian prime minister said.

"Openness is fundamental," Gentiloni concluded.