Italian government approves deal for Chinese state-owned Ferretti Group to develop NATO strategic port
In 2020, the Ferretti Group took the first steps in investing in Taranto, a strategically important Italian port city. The Ferretti Group was an Italian yacht business until 2012, when the Chinese state-owned Weichai Group acquired an 86% stake in the financially unstable company. Taranto is an essential port for both NATO and the EU. The city hosts a NATO military naval base and supports the organization’s Standing Naval Force in the Mediterranean Sea, which conducts counterterrorism, fights against migrant trafficking, and participates in joint exercises. The EU’s counter migrant trafficking operation, also relies on Taranto. Adolfo Urso, vice-President of the Italian oversight body for state intelligence agencies, and Italian MEP Anna Bonfrisco have expressed concern over the possible sale and Bonfrisco has asked the EU to investigate. The Ferretti Group hoped to establish a production center and a research center in Taranto, but the deal was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, Senator Mario Turco, undersecretary to the presidency of the Council of Ministers, expressed support for the deal, emphasizing the economic benefits for the region.

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Incident Metadata

Date: 2020
Country: Italy