Roundup: Demand for Chinese-language skilled staff rises among Italian companies

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MILAN, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Italian companies were increasingly looking for professional figure with a scientific background and good knowledge of the Chinese language, according to Italy-China Foundation.

The signal came from the 8th edition of Italy-China Career Day, which took place in Italy's major economic hub Milan on Friday.

The event was organized by the Foundation in collaboration with Associna association and Italian industrial group Assolombarda. It involved 401 candidates between Italians and second-generation Chinese in Italy, and 14 firms in the sectors of research, luxury, retail, real estate, textile, food industry, industrial design, and cosmetics.

Since its inception, the one-day event comprised two distinct sections, with the morning devoted to high-profile education and intercultural recruiting classes run by teachers from European business schools and universities.

The afternoon sessions were focused on individual meetings and interviews between companies and selected candidates.

"In order to further develop on the Chinese market, Italy needs well-trained professionals able to operate in two countries -- and two economies -- that are very different from each other," Italy-China Foundation Director General Vincenzo Petrone highlighted.

Petrone explained it still happened too often that an Italian company was forced to delay or limit its activities in China due to the lack of well-trained staff.

The Italy-China Career Day was launched to fill this gap, and "to serve as a crucial point for intercultural training and recruitment of qualified staff by firms interested in the Chinese market."

Among the 401 candidates sending their curricula for the day, some 336 were selected for direct interview with companies on Friday, according to the Foundation.

Professional profiles were mostly linked to Foreign Languages and International Relations studies (181), followed by Foreign Languages and Economics (77), Economics (51), Engineering (33), Fashion and Design (20), Social Media Management and Digital Marketing (11), and Law (11), among others.

"A strong demand for economists and engineers is confirmed, along with a growing demand for scientific profiles able to interact with Chinese colleagues and clients," the Foundation stressed.

Furthermore, Chinese-qualified staff was strongly needed among companies operating in the Italian market only.

According to data by Italy-China Foundation's Business Studies Center (CeSIF), in fact, there were at least 600 companies with Chinese capital in Italy, which generated an annual turnover of about 18 billion euros (20.2 billion U.S. dollars) and employed some 32,000 workers.

In addition, according to the same estimates, at least 2,100 Italian investors were partners in Chinese companies based in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

"We live in a context in which people who are able to combine two cultures, or simply to dialogue with two different worlds, are extremely relevant," said Mu Xiang Rong, Secretary General of Associna.

"And here comes the crucial role of second-generation Chinese, who were either born here or came to study, and of their Italian peers who took Chinese as a subject of study and a mission," he added.

Companies taking part in this year's Career Day included Italy's NMS Group (among the sponsors), Autogrill, Cannon Group, FC Internazionale Milano, Salmoiraghi Automatic Handling, Tensa Industrial Design, and Chinese Chic Group/Xi'an International Fashion town. Enditem

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