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International Relations

HOME > International Relations


Italy takes big step in joining the Belt and Road Initiative

March 20, 2019


Abstract : Italy, a member of the Group of Seven (G7), has taken a big step in participating in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), rep

BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Italy, a member of the Group of Seven (G7), has taken a big step in participating in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), reported Guangming Daily on Tuesday.

According to the report, recently, Italian mainstream media has been highly concerned that Italy and China may soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation under the BRI, which will make Italy the first G7 country to sign such a MOU with China.

Besides, government officials of the country have taken various opportunities these days to show their active support for Italy to officially join the BRI, stating that the Initiative is fully consistent with their national interest.

As a great project in pushing for the interconnection in infrastructure, the Initiative shows China's willingness to contribute to international economic and trade cooperation, said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who firmly believes that BRI is a great historical opportunity for Italy and joining the Initiative will better foster the cooperation between Italy and China.

He also noted that Italy and China are now making active efforts to promote the signing of the MOU on cooperation under the BRI, a step for Italy to really get involved in the Initiative and continue related in-depth discussions with China.

According to Conte, Italy has always regarded the BRI as an important opportunity for economic and trade development, hoping to achieve economic growth through taking part in the Initiative.

Likewise, Michele Geraci, Undersecretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, said in a recent interview that Italy's willingness to participate in the BRI is not news, pointing out that its Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development Luigi Di Maio had already declared during his visit to China in 2018 that Italy might sign the MOU on cooperation under the BRI with China.

Italy has long been interested in the BRI, noted Geraci, adding that the process of cooperation with China on the Initiative already started several years ago when the then Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni attended the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in May 2017.

As a country with important geographical and political status in the Mediterranean region, Italy must really get involved in the cooperation under the BRI as early as possible, or it will lose the excellent opportunity to conduct economic and trade cooperation with China and attract Chinese investment, believed Geraci.

For him, the signing of the MOU will bring more choices and opportunities for Italian enterprises, providing great help for them to take part in the BRI. (Edited by Gu Shanshan)


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