Italy, China set to boost trade relations

Updated: 2011-06-03 10:55

By Fu Jing

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Vice-President's visit to add further impetus to political, economic ties and help develop 'equal partnership'

Italy, China set to boost trade relations
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano (right) welcomes Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome on June 1, 2011. [Paolo Giandotti/Associated Press]

Vice-President Xi Jinping has expressed confidence that China's political and economic relations with Italy will get a further impetus during his ongoing visit to the European nation.

"It is in our mutual interest to further strengthen Sino-Italy relations," Xi said during his discussions with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

China is willing to further mutual trust and understanding, deepen bilateral cooperation in economic, scientific and technological, environmental protection and other areas for the benefit of the two peoples, he says.

Xi also indicated that China, the largest developing country in the world, was keen to further strengthen its cooperation with the European Union (EU), the largest bloc of developed countries.

The two sides should "go along with changes in the international situation and develop an equal partnership based on mutual respect, equal treatment and transcending ideological differences," he says.

Xi also briefed Napolitano on China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).

Napolitano exuded confidence that both nations will enhance mutual cooperation and also give a fresh thrust to boosting relations with EU.

Cesare Romiti, president of the Italy-China Foundation, indicated that Xi's visit to Italy during his second trip to Europe as vice-president clearly indicates that China sees Italy as a strategic partner.

"Xi's visit will consolidate the Italy-China relationship from a political as well as an economic point of view," Romiti says.

Wan Gang, China's Minister of Science and Technology, feels that the visit will be of great significance in promoting the Sino-Italian comprehensive strategic partnership, and also increase bilateral cooperation in science and technology.

"Cooperation in science and technology is an important part of the Sino-Italian comprehensive strategic partnership," Wan said in an interview with Xinhua.

He says that scientific and technological cooperation has seen continuous improvement since China and Italy forged diplomatic ties in 1970.

Italy was one of the first Western countries to sign an intergovernmental agreement with China on scientific and technological cooperation, with the two sides signing an agreement in 1978.

"In the wake of the dawn of the 21st century, bilateral scientific and technological cooperation has developed continuously. Italy has become an important partner for China in this regard," Wan says.

The two countries have signed over 40 agreements on scientific and technological cooperation between governmental departments, Wan says.

"China and Italy highly value

the supporting and leading roles played by innovation, and the two sides share a strong aspiration to deepen their cooperation," Wan says.

He says that innovation will be the key to promoting the development of both countries as the world at large continues to transform and change.

China and Italy have set up a design and innovation center in China's financial hub of Shanghai, which will allow both countries to contribute to research on electric automobiles and urban construction.

Xinhua contributed to the story.


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