More peacekeepers heading to Lebanon
By Le Tian (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-09-19 07:05

China is the first non-EU country that Prodi chose to visit since he became Italy's prime minister. Observers consider his trip a part of Rome's new quest to improve political relations with Beijing and search for business opportunities in the fast-growing economy.

Accompanying him is a large delegation comprising government officials and more than 700 business leaders.

In an article published after assuming the post of the prime minister, Prodi said he plans to turn Italy into a "Door to the East" with a plan that includes expanding the country's business presence in China and attracting Chinese investment into the euro zone's third-largest economy.

"I have taken note of Mr Prodi's words," Wen told reporters. "I want to stress here that China's door is open to Italy and the whole world as well."

Wen said he hopes the Italian government can continue to play a constructive role in China-EU relations.

During the talks, the two leaders agreed to make efforts to balance trade between the two countries, expand mutual investment in various fields and increase cooperation between small enterprises.

They also witnessed the signing of 15 documents concerning partnerships between the two countries.