Italy eager to boost bilateral ties with China

Updated: 2014-06-10 09:45


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ROME - Italy hopes to boost its trade partnership as well as cultural and political ties with China, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Renzi, who will pay an official visit to China from June 10 to 12, praised the progress of Italy-China commercial ties.

"Our commercial exchange has increased by 400 percent in the last 10 years and we are very pleased about it. Nonetheless, I believe the best is yet to come for both of us," Renzi said.

"Italy could increase its exports to China, and China could consider Italy as a country where business can be expanded in several market sectors. In this way, it would be a win-win relation," Renzi added.

However, Renzi added that business alone would not be enough. Italy is not as large a country as China, nor does it have its economic figures, he underlined. Yet, both countries could be seen as "big cultural powers," he said.

The Chinese-Italian dialogue should therefore be rooted in the cultural relationship, which can nonetheless pave the way to great economic agreements, Renzi said.

The Italian government will soon begin its six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) from July 1. Renzi said Italy's priority would be to push forward the European integration process.

Recalling how the European community was born in Rome, Renzi showed optimism in Europe's future despite the clear advance of euro-sceptic parties at May's European Parliament elections.

"European integration is a huge political gamble that allowed new generations to live in harmony," Renzi said.

"We were able to make Europe a place of peace and integration for the last 70 years. We have brought together our coins and our children's education, for example," he added.

Such an ambitious project may face some slowdown, but still remains a historic and extraordinary plan, according to the Italian prime minister. "This project will still take years to complete, but is irreversible. I believe no anti-European force will be able to block this path," Renzi said.

The partnership with China plays a key role in this regard, he added.

"Today, we need to develop a 'silk road' to encourage business exchanges and open new opportunities for dialogue, peace, stability and integrity in the world," Renzi said.