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China, Italy map out three-year cooperation plan

Updated: Jun 12,2014 11:40 AM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang (L) holds a welcome ceremony for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi before their talks in Beijing, China, June 11, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

China and Italy on June 11 issued a three-year action plan covering cooperation in areas of trade, industries and investment, finance, business, tourism and visits, and technological innovation.

The 2014-2016 plan was issued after talks between Premier Li Keqiang and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who is in Beijing for a three-day official visit to China from June 10 to 12.

“We want not only the issuing of the action plan, but also results,” Li said during a joint press briefing with Renzi. The premier said the two sides will hold the sixth meeting of the bilateral governmental committee in the second half of the year in Beijing, which will discuss the action plan. The plan will help economic and social development and benefit the two peoples.

According to the plan, the two countries will promote growth of bilateral goods and service trade and realize trade balance through an increase of Italian exports to China.

To expand bilateral trade, the two sides will enhance cooperation in environmental protection and energy, agricultural products and processing, food security, urbanization, medicine, health and aviation.

“We both agree that the scale of our bilateral trade and investment should have a large increase for our economic scale and development potential,” Li said.

The two sides will further strengthen cooperation in customs, health and plant quarantine. They also pledged to open their domestic markets more effectively and reduce barriers for trade and investment.

For industrial and investment cooperation, the two sides will cooperate in areas including waste material salvage, renewable energy, architecture and design, health service, aviation, engine technology, machinery, communication technology, nanotechnology, biopharmacy, shipbuilding, and oil and gas exploration, the action plan said.

Premier Li Keqiang (R) and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi jointly meet journalists after their talks in Beijing, China, June 11, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

The two sides agreed to allow Chinese capital to invest in Italy’s public facilities, logistics, infrastructure, services, and the protection of Italy’s arts and cultural heritage.

The two sides will strengthen cooperation in intellectual property protection to fight against fake goods.

With regard to financial cooperation, the action plan said China and Italy agreed to provide assistance for the integration of financial operators and trade, investment and credit institutions, and to provide facilities for each other to set up bank branches.

Renzi told the press that Italy will cut down the visa processing time for Chinese tourists to 36 hours. Li said China will support and participate in Italy’s Milan Expo in 2015.

The two sides also agreed to promote technological and innovation cooperation through various governmental mechanisms and organizations.

“China is ready to work with Italy to handle bilateral ties from a strategic and long-term point of view and push forward the ties to a new high,” Li said.

Renzi said Italy will join China to implement the action plan and expand cooperation in all areas to further promote relations.

Renzi also welcomed Li to visit Italy and attend the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Milan in the second half of the year.

Li said China will support the summit. He said he hoped the meeting can achieve results in planning Asia-Europe comprehensive cooperation, strengthening Asia-Europe inter-communication, and building up an Asia-Europe big market.

During the talks, the two prime ministers also discussed the China-Europe relations.

Li said China hoped Italy, which will hold the rotating presidency of the European Union later this year, will encourage China and the EU to speed up negotiations on an investment agreement and to start feasibility research on a free trade area, facilitate programs in areas of technology, infrastructure construction, aviation and urbanization, and jointly oppose trade protectionism.

Renzi echoed Li saying Italy will continue to play a positive role for the development of EU-China relations.

Li and Renzi attended the inaugural ceremony of a China-Italy entrepreneur committee and a bilateral trade and economic forum after meeting the press at the Great Hall of the People.

Beijing is the second leg of Renzi’s visit, his first since he took office in February. Before his stay in Beijing, Renzi visited Shanghai in east China.

President Xi Jinping and top legislator Zhang Dejiang also met with Renzi on June 11.

Premier Li Keqiang gives a speech while attending the inaugural ceremony of a China-Italy entrepreneur committee and the bilateral business forum together with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Beijing, China, June 11, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]