Business / Economy

Italy ready, eager to get involved in China's B&R initiative: ambassador

(Xinihua) Updated: 2016-06-02 17:25

BEIJING - Italy is ready and eager to get involved in and make contributions to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Italian ambassador to China said on Wednesday.

"Italy is best placed to get involved in the project, which is perceived as a source of new opportunities in terms of investment, trade and ultimately growth," Ettore Francesco Segui told Xinhua.

Italy has a potential pivotal role to play in the initiative as its geographical position enables the country to act as a natural gateway to Europe for Chinese products, he noted.

The Mediterranean, with Italy at its center, sits at the end-point of the Maritime Silk Road, presenting the two sides with great opportunities to boost all-round cooperation and strengthen bilateral ties.

The initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was first brought up by President Xi Jinping in September 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.

The vision, once realized, will directly benefit 4.4 billion people, or 63 percent of the global population, and deal with an economic aggregate of $21 trillion, around 30 percent of the global volume.

With the implementation of the initiative, Italian-Chinese relations will gain new momentum of development, Segui said.

The ambassador also said the two countries celebrated the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic relations last year, which represented an opportunity to reflect upon future plans to strengthen their bilateral ties.

The Italian government will continue to make efforts to upgrade its strategic partnership with China with more in-depth cooperation in fields such as sustainable urbanization, technology, agriculture and environment protection.

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