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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Italy PM seeks more Chinese investments

By Chen Lidan (People's Daily Online)

13:43, April 01, 2012

Italian Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Mario Monti addresses at a press conference in Beijing, March 31, 2012. (People's Daily Online/ Chen Lidan)

Beijing, April 1 (People's Daily Online)--Italy’s economic reforms have paid off and the country expects more investments from China, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said in Beijing during his first China visit after appointed to lead an emergency government.

“There should be increasing confidence on Italy and what Italy is now doing… I don't want to be too ambitious but my hope is to generate some new enthusiasm on Italy,” he told reporters on Saturday.

Since taking office in last November, Monti and his technical government have put in place tough austerity measures with the aim to cut public deficit and spur economic growth as well as a series of economic reforms to boost the business vitality.

However, he warned, “No one can say the euro zone crisis is totally over, and I think it would also be a dangerous attitude for Italian policy if we were to come into a state of complacency.”

Monti said Italy and China agreed to foster collaborations in various fields such as technology transfer, electronics, and design.

During his visit, Monti met with Lou Jiwei, president of the China Investment Corporation (CIC), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with assets worth at least 400 billion U.S. dollars.

In 2011, Lou visited Italy exploring the possibility of investment in Italy.

"They (CIC) hesitated to go further because they saw some problems in the Italian economy. One of the problems that was specifically mentioned was an insufficiently flexible labor market," he said.

Despite declining to elaborate, Monti said a working group has been set up to identify the possible investment opportunities and difficulties.

Monti will attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2012 set to start on Sunday.


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