'Cultural diplomacy' brings China and Italy together on new Silk Road

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2015-07-23 09:54:37

'Cultural diplomacy' brings China and Italy together on new Silk Road

The Chinese Pavilion attracts many visitors with both its design and art crafts on exhibition. [Photo/Xinhua]

"The 2014 commercial exchange between China and Italy exceeded 48 billion U.S. dollars, with a 10.7 percent increase over the previous year," Li underlined. Meanwhile, he added, the number of Chinese tourists coming to Italy annually has grown to around two millions from some 250,000 only a few years ago.

"China and Italy are two superpowers in the cultural field, not only in history but also in the contemporary world," Francesco Rutelli, a former culture minister of the Italian government and current chairman of Priorita Cultura (Culture is Priority) association, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the event, which was attended by speakers in various fields including audiovisual, food, design, sports and media.

"In this conference we have gathered representatives of all sectors of the Italian and Chinese creative industries who want to meet and collaborate. It is very important that Italy increases its exports to China and Italy increases its investments into Italy so to enhance development fostered by cultural economics," he said.

Priorita Cultura promotes the role of cultural diplomacy as a new tool for international dialogue, human and civil development as well as economic growth, and involves in its activities authoritative representatives of the Italian cultural world.

The conference will continue in the hometown of Venice traveller Marco Polo on Thursday with a round table gathering experts from both countries to discuss the China-proposed "Belt and Road" initiative.

Five memorandums of understanding in different fields were signed on Wednesday, which will be followed by the signing of an important agreement between the port of Ningbo in China and the port of Venice in Italy on Thursday.

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