China / Society

Italy invests for the future in Chongqing

By Deng Rui ( Updated: 2015-04-29 22:03

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni led a delegation to Chongqing this week hoping to further strengthen mutual exchanges and cooperation in economy, culture and other fields.

Gentiloni attended the opening ceremony of a new office for the Consulate General of Italy which was established in December 2013.

As one of the city's biggest trading partners, Italy topped imports and exports with Chongqing volume reaching $670 million last year.

According to statistics from the Chongqing government, by Dec last year, 35 Italian-funded enterprises such as FIAT, Finmeccanica and Piaggio had set up investment projects with a contractual value of $51.97 billion. Chongqing local brands Lifan and Xinyuan have branches in Italy with $21.55 billion in foreign investment.

Gentiloni emphasized Chongqing’s railway connectivity influence between China and Europe (the Eurasia International Railway), and strategic edges in automation, robotics, agriculture and other sectors.

"Last year, we had more than $40 billion in exchange between China and Italy, and $700 million between Chongqing and Italy," he said.

"We have already very strong relations, but we are investing on the future. The future is China, and within China the future is Chongqing. So we are working together here to realize good results together".

Meanwhile, the Consul General of Italy in Chongqing signed cooperation agreements with Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economy Relations Commission and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Chongqing Sub-Council. The agreements aim to establish a systematic, long-term cooperation platform for mutual trade and to support relevant move of the “One Belt and One Road” strategy.

Since the Italy Visa Application Center opened in February this year, around 4,000 visas have been issued. A large number of Chongqing visitors are paying visits to the 2015 Milano Expo between May and October.

Direct flights between Chongqing and Rome began on Monday.

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