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Economist Antonino Galloni Addresses Forum in Xi’an on Italy’s Interest in the Belt and Road

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EIRNS—Speaking at the 2019 Euro-Asia Economic Forum in Xi’an on Sept. 12, Italian economist and Schiller Institute adviser Antonino (“Nino”) Galloni laid out three main reasons why Italy is interested in the Belt and Road cooperation.

“Africa and countries with a higher rate of demographic growth and lower GDP growth should promote a higher domestic growth,” Galloni said, by “improving their domestic industries, substitute imports, upgrading infrastructure, building efficient connections with Europe and the rest of the world.” Those countries should “export less raw materials and semi-finished products, create a productive capacity to fulfill the domestic demand and cut down low-wage exports.” Galloni recalled that the first economist who understood this was the Italian Antonio Serra, at the end of 16th century, who demonstrated to the Spanish Viceroy in Naples that national wealth was not achieved through gold or silver, through taxation or selling raw materials, but “by improving the industriousness of citizens, mainly by education.”

Galloni also explained the Transaqua project to refill Lake Chad and bring water to Sub-Saharan Africa.

In older industrialized countries, “energy flux must be intensified, because containing it—in the false perspective of helping the environment—is a mistake, as Lyndon LaRouche taught us.” Old technologies are among the causes of pollution and “technological progress allows the destruction of polluting agents per unit of product.”

“Recently industrialized countries, like China, have correctly chosen to increase domestic demand instead of exports.” Investments in infrastructure, higher wages and employment are compatible with the increase of profits, but not with the “increase of the rate of profit,” which is typical of stock markets and financial investments.

Galloni also called for “new international agreements such as Bretton Woods, even if different from the one of 75 years ago.” This subject was raised again in the discussion, spurring a lively debate among academicians at the event.