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China, Italy to sign 8 deals

CHINA and Italy are to sign as many as eight deals during Chinese President Hu Jintao's trip to the country, senior Chinese official said here yesterday.

The deals cover a wide range of fields like purchasing Italian goods, economic cooperation, investment, education, tourism and cultural exchange, said Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hongbo, who was accompanying President Hu to visit Italy and attend the G8 Summit.

Speaking to a briefing in Rome last evening, Wu said details of some agreements were still under discussion and consultation, but he still told the press that a joint declaration on hosting a "Chinese culture year" in Italy will be signed by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Italian counterpart Franco Frattini.

Among the deals, Italian automobile giant FIAT is set to sign a cooperation pact with Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group.

President Hu arrived at Rome earlier yesterday, starting his state visit to the country. He is also to attend various meetings of the G8 Summit, to be held in L'Aquila on July 8-10.

In recent years, the trade and economic cooperation between China and Italy has grown rapidly.

Last year, the bilateral trade volume stood at 38.3 billion US dollars, close to the objective of hitting 40 billion US dollars by 2010 agreed by leaders of both sides.  


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