Photo: Paolo Panerai, CEO of Class Editori, delivers a speech at the Hidden Champions Development Summit during the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, November 7.
SHANGHAI, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in promoting economic exchanges and cooperation between China and Italy, and the Sino-Italian cooperation in the SME sector will nurture more hidden champion enterprises, said Paolo Panerai, CEO of Class Editori.
Paolo Panerai made the remarks at the Hidden Champions Development Summit held on Thursday during the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in east China's Shanghai.
According to the classification implemented by the European Union (EU), SMEs are those with less than 50 million euros in turnover and less than 250 employees. Italian SMEs employ almost 80 percent of Italian workers and the figure is well above the European average of 69 percent, said Paolo Panerai.
He also emphasized the significance of SMEs in the Italian economy, saying that among the total number of Italian companies, SMEs account for 92 percent of active companies, highlighting the prominent role of the SMEs in the Italian economy and reflecting the craftsmanship spirit and entrepreneurship across the country.
"If Ferrari, Gucci and Versace represent to the wider public the savoir-faire and Italian refinement, the SMEs are often the basis of their success," said Paolo Panerai.
Moreover, the economic impact of SMEs cannot be assessed by simply considering their direct involvement, but must be understood from a supply chain perspective. Italian SMEs are now part of complex and global value chains, contributing to the creation of their competitive advantages through flexible and diversified solutions, he said at the summit.
Paolo Panerai also pointed out that the Italian food and wine industry is a great source of hidden champions and the well-known wine products in China are from Sicily. The Chinese investors who started acquisitions of Italian companies in these sectors have noticed it.
Class Editori, a leading publisher of newspapers and magazines in Italy, aims to provide quality economic information service to Italian SMEs and pay close attention to their development. (Edited by Gao Jingyan)