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Italy eyes Chinese commerce giant Alibaba to promote wine sale

(Xinhua)    14:00, April 12, 2016

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

VERONA, Italy, April 11 -- Italy will be joining hands with the Chinese commerce giant Alibaba to reinvigorate its wine sales, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Monday.

"The future of Alibaba and Italy are closely linked together," he told a forum of 600 people at the 50th Vinitaly, a major international wine fair.

"Italy has lost too many opportunities in this sector (of wine)," Renzi said, adding that Alibaba, with its knowledge of the digital economy, can transform the Italian economy.

Renzi hoped that Italian wine exports can reach 7.5 billion euros (8.6 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020, compared with the current level of 5.4 billion euros (6.2 billion dollars).

Compared with French wine, which is over-valued due to its successful promotion campaigns, Italian wine is a better choice, Renzi told Alibaba Chairman Ma Yun, who agreed that Italian wine would have "great potential" on his commerce platform.

The Alibaba head said his company is scheduling a wine promotion day at 9:00 a.m. on Sept. 9 as the number "nine" and the word "wine" have the same pronunciation in Chinese.

Ma said Alibaba can be an important showcase not only for wine, but other made-in-Italy products, which he said are well accepted in China.

Vinitaly 2016 began Sunday and will run until Wednesday. Trade dealers from more than 140 countries are expected to attend dozens of events, including b2b meetings, exhibitions, exclusive tasting and haute cuisine to promote the wine industry.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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