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Sino-Italian relations now stronger: Ambassador
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09:26, October 24, 2007

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Chinese and Italian relations are getting much stronger "in every aspect", Italian Ambassador to China Riccardo Sessa said yesterday.

In the past, trade between the two countries was not big, cultural exchanges not that active, and there were not many Italians living in China.

These issues had perplexed the embassy for a long time, Sessa said in an exclusive interview with China Daily.

"Thanks to the promotional work by the two countries, the situation is changing," he said.

According to Sessa, there are at least 700 Italian-invested companies in Chinese mainland.

On the issue of bilateral trade, Sessa said the import and export of goods between the two countries have been increasing at a healthy rate in recent years.

The overall bilateral trade between China and Italy was $24.5 billion last year, up 32 percent from the previous year.

Exports to China were valued at $8.6 billion, 24 percent higher than 2005.

Sessa is happy to see the growth of trade, however, he said Chinese trade surplus with Italy still exists.

However, he said: "We will not set up any barrier for Chinese imports by ourselves."

When asked about the potential problem of Chinese textiles entering the EU's markets, Sessa said he was very confident about local Italian textile makers.

He said most of them focus on the high-end market, and they have their own stable of "luxury customers".

Source: China Daily

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