In the heart of Europe, Italy has emerged as a destination for Chinese migrant workers in search of economic opportunities.
According to a report from the Italian Ministry of Labor and Social Policies, the Chinese community in Italy is the largest in the EU.
Many Chinese nationals come to Italy for study or family reunification. However, a significant number also come for work purposes.
This blog post delves into the experiences and contributions of this growing segment of the workforce in Italy.
Chinese Migrant Workers in the Italian Job Market
Commercial and industrial sectors are where most Chinese migrant workers find employment.
When it comes to professions, most Chinese workers are employed as sales and personal service staff. They make up 55% of the workforce in this sector. This is followed by skilled manual workers, which make up 31% of the workforce.
The report we mentioned at the start of this article presents these statistics.
Another notable feature of Chinese migrant workers is their entrepreneurial spirit.
When calculating the entrepreneurship rate, nearly one out of four Chinese individuals owns a business.
Just five years ago, this figure was one in every five. This shows a growing trend in entrepreneurial activity.
How Do These Workers Contribute to the Italian Economy?
Chinese migrant workers play a vital role in the Italian labor force across different industries. Usually, these industries include manufacturing, commerce, and hospitality.
Their language skills and reputation for diligence make them highly sought-after candidates for Italian employers.
Additionally, as previously noted, many Chinese migrant workers take an entrepreneurial path. The majority chooses to open restaurants, stores, and manufacturing factories.
These businesses contribute to the local economy by creating jobs, generating tax revenue, and stimulating economic growth.
An article from Bargiornale, an Italian online magazine focused on the bar and restaurant industry, discusses the massive growth of Chinese businesses in Italy.
Second-generation Chinese migrant workers, actively involved in running their own companies, drive this growth through their entrepreneurial spirit.
Many young Chinese families have chosen to open bars as a family enterprise, a departure from the traditional models in China.
“We are also stressed, and we work under pressure, just like our Italian colleagues. I remember that in the first two hours of the opening day, only one customer came in. There were four of us waiting, wondering how many people would show up. However, we managed to grow, gradually gaining recognition for our products and service“, declared Fan Zhang, a Chinese entrepreneur running a gelato shop in Milan.
These businesses not only make a significant economic impact but also bring communities closer by fostering cultural exchange.