A conversation with Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori, a leading expert on international politics, discussing some of the most important areas of the planet. We talk about China, UK and US relations and the Italian role in the Mediterranean Sea.
“Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori is an eminent Italian economist and businessman, a University Professor and a keen observer of the political and economic international situation. During his long career he has held numerous high positions in prestigious Italian and foreign companies. He currently chairs “La Centrale Finanziaria Generale SpA”, theLaboratory Foundation for Public Administration and the Italian delegation of the Abertis Foundation. He is also the honorary president of Huawei Italy, economic adviser to the Chinese giant HNA Group, Khashoggi Holding’s advisor and holder of important professorships at prestigious universities such as Yeshiva University in New York, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The Peking University.
In 1992 he was appointed Officier de la Légion d’Honneur de la République Francaise, with this motivation: “A man who can see across borders to understand the world”. Since May 11th 2001, he is a Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO for his merits generously spended in the defense and in the promotion of intangible heritage. In 2002 he received the title of “Honorable” of the Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France.”
In November 2014, the stock markets of Shanghai and Hong Kong have launched an ambitious program of connection between the two financial centers. According to your opinion, who will benefit the most?
The connection between the two financial centers, Shanghai and Hong Kong, is a historic event for the international markets because it opens up the way to the further internationalization of the yuan, helping to gradually strengthen the world leadership for the financial development of the Chinese mainland. This partnership, which has raised great expectations among the Asian financial authorities, will be favorable for a more open capital market, thus promoting the emergence of Hong Kong as an international financial center.
May this connection be considered as a threat to Tokyo, being the third largest world stock exchange by market capitalization, after New York and London?
It is not a threat to Tokyo, but the partnership between the financial centers of Hong Kong and Shanghai, has in fact given birth to the third stock exchange in the world and the first in Asia. So the Japanese stock market, which was in third place after those of New York (NYSE and NASDAQ), has been overtaken by an Asian competitor after forty years. Moreover it is expected that in the future we will witness the further enlargement of Shenzhen to the stock exchange, which would allow the three markets together to achieve a capitalization around 7,000 billion dollars.
Which of the major Asian megacities will become the most influential in economic and political terms?
Hong Kong will become the most influential.
UK & USA
According to some experts in the field, London aims to become the global hub of finance, with or without the endorsement of Washington.
– According to you, will this happen?
– Could the special relationship that binds these two countries suffer some deterioration?
The premises that London will become the global hub of finance are all there, for a number of reasons. I remember that London, for its not so distant past as a world power, has maintained a strong ramification of its presence in many countries. If this is combined with the global use of its language and the massive presence of individuals, companies and financial funds from all corners of the world, I think that London will become – naturally – the global hub of finance, without any endorsement or deterioration in the relations with the United States.
Italian, Mediterranean and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
Italy, considering its strategic location in the Mediterranean, could carve out an important role.
– How could the Italian influence in the Mediterranean Sea increase? With or without Washington’s endorsement?
– Could the possible Italian expansionism clash with French interests?
– Do you see as positive Italy’s adherence to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), promoted by Beijing, bearing in mind the growing importance of China in the Mediterranean?
Certainly. I have always stated that Italy, thanks to the exclusive centrality of its territory, could carve out a leading role in the Mediterranean, because, ultimately, the Mare Nostrum has regained the weight that it deserves in the international trade. It is a revaluation that gives a special and important role for Italy: a unique condition that makes it a meeting point between continental Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as a bridge between East and West in our quadrant. Instead our central coast, seen as the hinge to the rest of the Mediterranean, would allow the emergence of a region, from Rome to the South, of strong international maritime cooperation with the possibility to lead to the strengthening of ports and cities, and to facilitate a Mediterranean regional network of infrastructure, necessary to give power and new dimensions to the nautical tourism and the maritime transport. In my humble opinion, I think that this planning, set up by the exclusive centrality of our territory in the Mediterranean area, doesn’t in any way compromise France’s interests.
Thus Italy has the potential to become a natural logistics and maritime platform in the heart of the Mediterranean, through the creation of a functional infrastructure update of the national port system, together with an effective policy aimed at the development of logistics, which goes from the manufacturing industry and continues with freight, ports and shipping companies. That is focusing on intermodal roads and rail, as well as implementing structured, targeted actions to push our companies to projection processes in foreign markets, especially in those areas where the Italian quality and presence in entrepreneurial terms are strong: aerospace, automotive, agribusiness, clothing. In this regard, I consider very important Italy’s adherence, together with the UK, France and Germany, to the new Asiatic Bank under Chinese guide, called the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). This is because Beijing is working on a “maritime Silk Road“, which will start from the Chinese province of Guangdong, passing through the Strait of Malacca, the Indian Ocean, the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, will arrive in the Mediterranean and up to Venice.