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China, Italy seek to strengthen bilateral cooperation

Updated: May 6,2016 9:28 AM     Xinhua

Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni attend a joint press conference after their meeting in Rome, Italy, on May 5, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

ROME — Wide-ranging bilateral cooperation was at the center of the seventh plenary session of the Italy-China Government Committee which was held in Rome on May 5 in the presence of Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni.

The plenary session involved public administration representatives of both countries who gathered to seek new cooperation opportunities in agriculture, food security, science, sustainable development, tourism and many other sectors.

Gentiloni said after holding talks with Wang that Italy is determined to attract an increasing flow of investments and also promote its know-how in the transport and infrastructure sector, particularly in relation to the Chinese plan to build a new Silk Road through the other transit countries of Europe and Asia.

“We will work towards reinforcing our economic relations and our capacities to export towards the big Chinese market, and to increase Chinese direct investments in Italy, also to raise employment levels in our country,” Gentiloni said.

“Now Italy is China’s fourth largest trading partner in the European Union (EU), we want to conquest at least the third position,” he said. Last year bilateral trade reached around $44.5 billion, the Italian foreign minister added.

Wang underlined that China and Italy also are two cultural powers in the world. He called for more student and tourist exchanges between the two countries, and for strengthened collaboration on key issues such as security and sustainable development.

Wang welcomed Italy’s participation in the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.

“We have to work together to bring our people closer,” Wang said.

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