Fincantieri to build first cruise ships for Chinese market

Trieste (Italy), Feb 22 (IANS/AKI) Fincantieri will build two cruise ships in China under a landmark deal it signed with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation and American-British cruise company Carnival Corporation & plc, the Italian shipbuilder announced Wednesday.

Fincantieri’s, CSSC’s and Carnival Asia and Costa Group’s CEOs signed the historic 1.5 billion dollar agreement in Beijing in the presence of Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Fincantieri said in a statement.

The Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co shipyard is part of the joint venture to build the first units of the kind ever built in China for the Chinese market, the statement said.

The first delivery is expected in 2023 and the accord includes an option for an additional four cruise ships, Fincantieri said.

“Looking at the global scenario means trying to widen one’s boundaries, laying the foundations to further boost business prospects and access more complex markets,” said Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono.

“It is not possible to maintain a competitive presence in the medium and long term without such a commitment,” he added.

The deal was inked at the 4th Italy-China Business Forum during a six-day state visit to China by Mattarella, accompanied by Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, Infrastructure Minister Graziano Delrio, Economic Development Undersecretary Ivan Scalfarotto and an Italian business delegation.

–IANS/AKI

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