CHENGDU, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Italian trade expert Gianpaolo Bruno has expressed his optimism regarding the Chinese consumer market, emphasizing its importance in offering crucial opportunities for Italian products.
Bruno, who is the trade commissioner of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) Beijing Office and coordinator of ITA Offices in China and Mongolia, highlighted the complementary advantages between Italian and Chinese agricultural products.
"China is Italy's largest trading partner in Asia, and Italy leads among EU countries in agreements for exporting agricultural products to China," Bruno told Xinhua in an interview during the Global Geographical Indications Products Expo that concluded on Thursday.
The expo, which opened on Sept. 19 in Luzhou, southwest China's Sichuan Province, was another major exhibition and promotion event of geographical indications following the signing of the landmark agreement on geographical indications between China and the EU in 2020.
Italy was the first guest invited to the expo, and the Italian National Pavilion, spanning 200 square meters, featured over 60 Italian geographical indication products certified under the agreement.
According to Bruno, Italy boasts the world's largest variety of cheese, and its wine and dairy products are particularly popular in China, especially among young consumers.
"The new generation of Chinese consumers, raised in the era of mobile internet, possesses a unique perspective on lifestyle, especially concerning food. Their openness to diverse cultures plays a significant role in their acceptance and appreciation of Italian cuisine," he said.
In 2022, China-Italy agricultural trade surged to a total of 1.7 billion U.S. dollars despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Italy exported agricultural products worth 830 million U.S. dollars to China, primarily consisting of high-end wine and dairy products.
As the interaction between the two countries strengthens, an increasing number of Chinese consumers are traveling to Italy to experience authentic Italian wine culture. Bruno emphasized that as such cultural exchange deepens, Italian products are garnering greater recognition among Chinese consumers.
"The implementation of the EU-China Landmark Geographical Indications Agreement has ushered in a new era for the trade of agricultural and sideline products between China and Italy," he said.
"With the enhancement of China's intellectual property protection system, Chinese consumers will naturally develop a more profound understanding of Italian geographical indication products," said the Italian trade expert. "This, in turn, will provide fresh momentum for importers looking to promote Italian products in China."