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China, Italy eye strengthened cooperation in wide-ranging sectors

Updated: May 7,2016 1:59 PM     Xinhua

ROME — China and Italy have vowed to enhance cooperation and try to dovetail their respective development strategies to guarantee a healthy and sustainable progress of bilateral relations.

The two sides made the pledge at the seventh joint session of the China-Italy Governmental Committee and the 3rd meeting of Sino-Italian businessmen association held in Rome on May 5.

China is willing to explore new fields of cooperation, step up efforts to create synergy between development strategies of the two countries, and promote long-term, healthy and stable development of ties, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said when he met with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi after attending the meetings.

He added China stands ready to work with Italy for common development and prosperity in both countries and in Eurasia.

Italy hopes to deepen friendly relations with China, strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in such areas as trade and investment, and push forward the Italy-China comprehensive strategic partnership, Renzi said.

He said he looks forward to attending the G20 summit slated for September in Hangzhou, China, and is willing to work closely with the Chinese side to help achieve positive results.

At the joint session of the China-Italy Governmental Committee, Wang hailed the development of the Sino-Italian comprehensive strategic partnership as good.

Positive results had been obtained in cooperation of five major areas of priority set by leaders of the two countries, he said.

He 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 aimed at 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.

He also called for more student and tourist exchanges between the two countries and strengthened collaboration on key issues such as security and sustainable development.

Current international issues, such as the fight against the Islamic State, migration and regional crises were also among the main topics on May 5 agenda.

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that Italy is determined to attract an increasing flow of investments and carry out cooperation in the transport and infrastructure sector particularly with China to build a new Silk Road.

“We will work to reinforce our economic relations and export capacity to the Chinese market, and to increase Chinese direct investments in Italy to help raise employment levels in our country,” Gentiloni said.

“Now Italy is China’s fourth largest trading partner in the European Union, we want to conquer at least the third position,” he said.

Last year, bilateral trade reached around 39 billion euros ($44.5 billion), the Italian foreign minister added.

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