Since economic liberalisation was adopted by the Chinese Gov in the late 70s, the Delta has become one of the leading economic regions and a major manufacturin center of China and the World.
- since 1987, almost 30% of all foreign investment in China was in the PRD.
- since 1989, this area has the highest GDP compared to all other Chinese provincial divisions (in 2011 the GDP was higher than the levels of countries like the Netherlands and Turkey)
- It hosts most of the companies that produce for export
- It is considered the heart of high-tech China (Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Huizhou are centers specialized in the production of high-tech goods).
The sample consists of companies from 15 Italian regions, where the most present come from; Veneto (28 companies), Lombardy (27), Tuscany (17), Emilia Romagna (14) and Piemonte (11), which together sum 77.6% of the total. 76%.
Northern Italy leads the internationalization of italian Companies in China.
Companies involved in manufacturing activities (55 companies in total), operate in the following areas:
- “Fashion and Textiles” (23.6%), “engineering products and equipment” (23.6%), followed by “Chemistry and oils “(12.7%),” Furniture “(9.1%),” consumer electronics and appliances “(9.1%),” building materials “(7.3%) and “Automotive “(5.5%).
Companies involved in commercial activities (39 companies in total) mostly operate in these sectors:
- “Fashion and Textiles” (35.9%), “Consumer electronics and appliances” (25.6%), “Building materials” (15.4%), “Furniture” (10.3%), and “Food and beverage” (7.7%).
The main reason why Italian companies decide to invest in China is represented by the opportunity to access to its huge potential market. Other reasons that respondents indicate “to follow customers” and “to follow suppliers.”
The variable COST still seems to be a driving motivation, even if it is not the largest reason anymore: the Chinese market has become attractive and not just as a center of low-cost production, indeed options as “to reduce production costs“, “to remain competitive in Italy” and “to reduce costs in general” are placed on the fourth, fifth and seventh place.
Problems in China?
The management of HR is one the major challenges for all companies, foreign and local, operating in China. The companies indicate the “Lack of qualified Chinese personnel” and the “High staff turnover” as the major problems, followed by the “Communication Problems” and “the request for increased wages.”