(AGI) Rome, June 22 - The Association of Southeast AsianNations (ASEAN) countries has infinite potential for Italianbusiness, Deputy Secretary-General Lim Hong Hin told AGI onMonday. He was speaking on the margins of the first session ofthe second edition of the Euroasia Workshop in Rome. He said itwas important for Italy, which stood out among the 28 Europeancountries for the solidity of its economy, to take initiativesof this sort. When he first made contact with the ItalianChambers of Commerce in Bangkok and Indonesia, he had beenamazed by the interest shown by Italian businesses in investingin ASEAN countries, although the number of firms in the areawas still low - just a few hundred. Although the European Union(EU) was the main trade partner in the area, there had beenlittle Italian investment. He therefore hoped that Monday'sworkshop would give Italian entrepreneurs a clear picture ofthe potential the Asian market had to offer. Made In Italygoods could also have access to an enormous group of consumers.Stronger business links between Europe and Asia were needed. Headded that Monday's meeting had put different worlds in touchwith each other, creating networks of people. One could only dobusiness in a country if one was informed about its culture.Knowledge was part of business. The Deputy Director of theForeign Economic Cooperation of the Shanghai Commission was inagreement. The Asian speakers believed Italy should look at theregion with new eyes. Director of the Italy-China Foundation inRome, Andrea Canapa, said the conference had illustrated themacro tends in economic relations between Europe and Asia.Interventions by the president of the Italian Foreign TradeInstitute (ICE), Riccardo Maria Monti, president of Simest,Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, and chair of the Committee onAgriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament,Paolo de Castro, gave a complete picture of economic trade withthe ASEAN countries, and threw greater light on the objectivesof China's New Silk Roads strategy and the One Belt, One Roadinitiative. He suggested that building infrastructures was anopportunity that Italy should consider, citing the railwayconnecting the Chinese megalopolis Chingqing with Duisburg inGermany. Boosting rail links between Germany and Italy wouldlead to cost cuts and reductions in goods transport timeframes.Italy could also play a major role in urbanisation and Chinawas interested in the workings of Italy's health system andelderly care. Mr De Castro also suggested that collaboration inthe agri-food sector could be stepped up, as Italy'sagricultural interchange with China was lower than that ofother European countries. (AGI). .