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China, Italy to boost balanced trade growth

By Hu Yongqi | | Updated: 2017-02-23 21:07

China will work with Italy to promote continuous and balanced growth of bilateral trade and investment, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday while meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Mattarella is making his first state visit to China since taking office in 2015 from Tuesday to Sunday. President Xi Jinping met with him and witnessed the signing of a number of agreements to boost bilateral ties on Wednesday.

China will also work with the European country to strengthen exchanges, fortify mutual trust and promote pragmatic cooperation, the premier said. China is willing to link with Italy's developmental strategies and make plans for mid- and long-term cooperation, he said. He also said China will enhance policy exchanges for innovation, research and development, as well as explore cooperation in third-party markets.

Now Italy is China's fifth largest trading partner in the European Union and China is Italy's top trading partner in Asia. In 2015, Chinese companies poured one third of the $23 billion investment in Europe into Italy, as bilateral trade declined by seven percent.

Mattarella said his country will work with China on a new action plan for economic cooperation, expansion in fields such as infrastructure, technology, environmental protection and innovation, and take bilateral ties to a new level by 2020, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

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