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Li Keqiang Meets with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy

On the morning of May 16, 2017, Premier Li Keqiang met at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy, who was in China for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Li Keqiang expressed that China and Italy are important cooperation partners with traditional friendship. It is hoped that both sides could take the establishment of prime ministers’ regular meeting mechanism as an opportunity to consolidate political mutual trust, and focus on cooperation in major fields, particularly in well implementing the China-Italy Cooperation Action Plan for 2017-2020, in order to achieve overall progress by 2020, the year marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China is implementing the innovation-driven development strategy and promoting mass entrepreneurship and innovation. China is willing to, together with Italy, strengthen innovation cooperation, develop the China-Italy Innovation Strategy toward 2020 at an early date, and foster new growth drivers for bilateral cooperation. Both sides should further strengthen cooperation on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and build related mechanisms and platforms, push forward the network-type and cluster cooperation, in a bid to meet the personalized and diversified needs of consumers. China is ready to participate in infrastructure constructions such as ports in Italy, in order to contribute to connectivity between China and Europe. As eastern and western ancient civilizations, China and Italy should enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges in education, arts and tourism. It is hoped that Italy, as an important member of the EU, could continue to play an active role in advancing the in-depth development of China-EU relations.

Paolo Gentiloni said that with a long-standing friendship, Italy and China have increasingly enhanced bilateral cooperation. Italy is willing to join efforts with China to focus on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, give full play to the leading role of prime ministers’ regular meeting mechanism, well implement the Cooperation Action Plan for 2017-2020, conduct extensive cooperation in SMEs, agriculture and third-party market, and strengthen cooperation in port construction, in a bid to promote regional connectivity. Italy welcomes more Chinese citizens to travel and study in the country, and stands ready to offer more convenience for visa applications. The country is willing to make active efforts to promote EU-China relations and facilitate negotiations on the EU-China investment agreement.

After the meeting, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni jointly witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents covering agriculture, finance and other fields.

State Councilor Yang Jing attended the meeting.

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