by Stefania Fumo, Li Jie
MILAN, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- The first China International Import Expo (CIIE) will be a "great opportunity" for global trade, the Pirelli CEO has said.
The CIIE is going to be held on Nov. 5-10 in China's metropolis of Shanghai to show China's firm support for international trade liberalisation.
"I think (the CIIE) is a great opportunity to show the players in the global economic environment the opening of China to world trade, and it is also a contribution to the growth of the global market," said Marco Tronchetti Provera, executive vice chairman and CEO of Italian-Chinese tyre maker Pirelli, in a recent interview with Xinhua.
"I think that China is growing not only as a market, but also in terms of technology and education," said Tronchetti Provera, who has continued to serve as Pirelli CEO since ChemChina became the major stakeholder of the Italian tyre maker in 2015.
Tronchetti Provera, who has been traveling to China on business since the 1990s, said that in the past two decades he has witnessed China's growth in every area -- its economy, its infrastructure, and its cities have burgeoned in a way he described as "amazing" in terms of both speed and the quality of growth.
"I have been really lucky to be a part of it, because I think it is something that has never happened so fast before in human history," said the veteran Italian entrepreneur.
"Pirelli entered China as a local producer in 2005," he said. "Before that, we used to export (tyres) to China. Then we decided to set up a factory that would be fully dedicated to the high value segment -- meaning tyres with a high technology content."
The decision to open the first factory in China that was 100 percent dedicated to producing high-value tyres "was based on the development of the Chinese market," Tronchetti Provera said. "We saw huge investments were being made by international car manufacturers."
"We were the first to gain approval from the main carmakers as local suppliers for the original equipment of high value cars," he said. "We created a network with regional wholesalers, and we entered into a number of agreements with tyre dealers."
Pirelli's development in China was fast, Tronchetti Provera said.
"We started from scratch, and now we have agreements with close to 4,000 distributors," said Tronchetti Provera, lauding the quality of China's education.
He said that "very knowledgeable people" in Pirelli's local management teams and research and development departments have been well trained by the Chinese education.
Tronchetti Provera was sanguine about Pirelli's prospects in China -- where he sees a future based on technology, people and innovations.
Tronchetti Provera said that "we must learn to see others as partners and not just competitors," because this means we can pool our energies and pull in the same direction to everyone's benefits.
"I am still positive. I believe that at the end of the day, global interests will prevail," he said.