Saturday, October 27, 2012

Italian Businessmen seek Chinese Investments

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. machinery (n.)
[muh-shee-nuh-ree] –machines or mechanical equipment
Example: The expensive machinery should be handled carefully.

2. intangible (adj.) [in-tan-juh-buhl] – cannot be touched or felt
Example: Knowledge is an intangible but important result of education.

3. managerial (adj.) [man-i-jeer-ee-uhl] – referring to managers’ or managements’ work and responsibilities
Example: The leadership training seminar discussed important managerial skills that employees should learn. 

4. capital (n.) [kap-i-tl] – money or property used to start a business
Example: A person usually needs a large capital to run a business.

5. lend a hand (idiom) [lend] [a] [hand] – to help someone
Example: All the students will lend a hand to the school’s charity project.

Read the text below.

The European economic crisis has pushed many European companies to find investors from China.

CB Ferrari, for example, an Italian company that builds machinery for car and energy industries, was sold to a Chinese company that makes similar but less advanced equipment.

Italy’s economy was very strong when Renato Bianchi started CB Ferrari in the 1960s.  In forty years, the company grew and gained 160 employees. Unfortunately, when the global economy failed mid-2000, Bianchi started losing a million dollars yearly.

Bianchi had to think about changing his business or selling the company. Swiss, Italian and German competitors offered to buy CB Ferrari, but Bianchi chose to sell to a Chinese company for a lower price. The Chinese-owned company agreed to keep the Italian workers, which was most important to Bianchi.

Economist Roberta Rabellotti said more Chinese are investing in Europe to gain intangible advantages such as managerial skills and knowledge.

In the past, Italy did not attract many Chinese investments because of the Italian government’s complicated business policies. Rabellotti said the situation is now changing, because Italy’s businesses need financial help to keep running, and China has the needed capital.

But Italian companies still fear that their businesses will be shut down after their technology and knowledge has been passed to China. Rabellotti said they should remove that fear by focusing on how Chinese have lent a hand to the Italian economy. According to Bianchi, his company is one example of a positive result from Chinese investment.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Aside from financial help, how do you think working with foreign partners or investors helps a company?
·         What can be some of the difficulties in working with foreign partners or investors?

Discussion B

·         How can people feel the economic crisis in their daily lives aside from in business?
·         In what ways can people deal with or fight through financial troubles?


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