Nation welcomes Vice-President Xi Jinping
Updated: 2011-06-02 08:01
As government leaders flock to Rome on June 2 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of a unified Italian state, Italy will give a special warm welcome to China's Vice-President Xi Jinping.
His presence on Italian soil is an occasion to take stock of relations between Italy and China which - while generally good - still have untapped potential that would benefit from a more sustained effort at both capitals.
Sectors poised for closer cooperation include tourism, cultural exchanges, trade and investment, and research and development.
Trade relations are expected to grow to a new level as agreed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Wen Jiabao in 2010. The target set for 80 billion euros by 2015 seems well within reach, but is to be more balanced than in the past to reduce the Italian trade deficit.
Investment prospects look bright with Italy hoping to benefit from the expected increase of Chinese foreign direct investment over the coming years.
Chinese businesses are welcome in Italy, where they can find opportunities for growth and gain while contributing to the long-term prospects at local enterprises and the development of new jobs.
Looking forward to increasing consumption in the Chinese domestic market, Italy remains well-positioned to benefit from opportunities offered by the burgeoning middle class, not only in first- and second-tier cities, but also in those less well developed ones.
Italy's hospitality to traveling Chinese will not only be reserved to Vice-President Xi, but also to the tens of thousands of Chinese tourists - about 120,000 in last year alone - who have made Italy one of their favorite holiday destinations.
In this framework of hope and challenges, it is the Embassy of Italy's mission to be a catalyst and to convey the message that Italy and China stand to further gain from a renewed effort in a spirit of sustained mutual collaboration.
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