Jack Ma toasts wine with Italy's prime minister

Updated: 2016-04-12 09:27


Jack Ma toasts wine with Italy's prime minister

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (L) greets Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma at the Vinitaly wine exhibition in Verona, Italy, April 11 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

Australia, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Argentina and Serbia are among the other producer countries at the fair, while trade operators are expected from more than 140 countries.

Denis Pantini, head of Wine Monitor of Nomisma research institute for economy, said that Italy unfortunately is not keeping pace with China's surging wine imports.

Last year Italy's exports to China grew by just 15 percent compared to 2014, and the first semester of 2016 has registered the same trend so far, Pantini told Xinhua.

French and Australian wines are performing much better, he observed, which is mainly due to larger and better organized companies in France and a free trade agreement signed between China and Australia.

"China's market is among the largest and fastest growing in the world, and Italy cannot miss such an important opportunity," Pantini told Xinhua.

However, Italy is now moving forward to fill the gap, he went on saying, and a meeting at Vinitaly between Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma was an evidence of this.

On Monday Renzi told Ma during their talks about the e-commerce in the wine market that the moment has come for Italy to "bet on innovation" and that "the future of Alibaba and the future of Italy are closely linked together."

Renzi also said that Italy aims at reaching 7.5 billion euros ($8.6 billion) of wine exports by 2020 and announced that his government is organizing a "very important mission to China" for next November in the field of agro-food.