Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday spoke out against protectionism that has shown signs of growth after the start of the global economic downturn.
Speaking to a business forum in Rome attended by more than 500 business leaders from China and Italy, Hu said the principle of opening up should be adhered to in international trade and economic cooperation, calling for opposition to protectionism of various forms.
Hu said China sent several delegations to Europe to purchase goods and boost mutual investment just months after the global financial crisis began.
China's move is to boost bilateral economic cooperation and the common development worldwide at large, Hu said.
Hu said China and Italy should join hands to take concrete actions to fight protectionism in international trade and investment and strive to safeguard an open, fair global economic and trade system.
In his speech, Hu also offered a five-point proposal on boosting trade and economic cooperation between China and Italy, including creating a better investment environment and encouragements for small and medium businesses.
Hu said Italian companies are welcome to explore business opportunities in China and that his government also encourages Chinese companies to invest in Italy.
The Chinese president arrived here Sunday for a state visit, and he will also attend the outreach session of the Group of Eight (G8) summit scheduled for Thursday in the central Italian city of L'Aquila.