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Italy-China Governmental Committee – Joint Communiqué

1. On the invitation of Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic Emma Bonino, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Yi, made an official visit to Rome on 29 October 2013.

2. The two ministers reviewed principal bilateral questions and exchanged opinions on relations between the European Union and China on regional topics of mutual interest and on global agenda items.

3. Minister Bonino and Minister Wang also opened the fifth plenary session of the Italy-China Governmental Committee, the main instrument by which to launch and orient the strategic Italo-Chinese partnership, participants in which included representatives on the public administrations of both countries that contribute to the development of bilateral collaboration.

4. The two ministers noted that this partnership, established in 2004, had reached a stage of maturity that has come to permit structured and broad-based dialogue on global and regional themes. They agreed on the objective of strengthening coordination of their respective stances in the main regional and multilateral forums and mechanisms, confirming, in particular, a common intention to maintain a productive association in matters of UN Security Council reform. Also underscored was the intention to coordinate and seek convergence within the G20 and the UN, especially on the issues of growth and employment, in addition to climate change, sustainable development and energy, international counter-piracy efforts and the prevention and management of natural disasters.

5. They also exchanged views on several regional themes of common interest regarding the political evolution of the countries of the Maghreb and the Middle East, the situation in the Horn of Africa and developments in northeastern Asia.

6. In regard to bilateral relations, they were pleased to note the increased frequency of reciprocal visits by central and local authorities, which give depth and resonance to bilateral cooperation by contributing to mutual understanding and strengthening the bonds of friendship between Italy and China. They agreed to ensure continuity in intergovernmental dialogue at the level both of policy and of high-level officials, and to further develop territorial partnerships between the Italian regions and Chinese provinces, taking their cue from the positive experience of the MFA-Regions-China Programme. In this regard, the two ministers agreed on the usefulness of a meeting between the Italian regions and Chinese provinces at a date and time to be decided together.

7. The two ministers also commented on the marked vitality and dynamism of bilateral relations, especially at economic/trade, scientific, environmental, cultural, inter-university and tourism levels.

8. With regard to the economic/commercial sector, the ministers both expressed hopes for further growth in trade, agreeing at the same time on the need to address the trade balance, and on the importance of intensifying collaboration in order to support trade and investments on the basis of full reciprocity and mutual advantage.

9. In this context, the two ministers recognised the importance of agriculture in the economic and social advancement of both countries, and agreed on the advisability of strengthening collaboration aimed at increased trade in agricultural/food products.

10. Also expressed was the commitment to work jointly to increase reciprocal investments. Importance will be given to existing Chinese investments in high-tech sectors in which Italy has proven expertise – environmental protection, renewable energy, energy efficiency, biomedicine, ship building, hydrocarbon fuel exploration and design – and the marked potential for Chinese investments in projects to upgrade industrial plants or build new ones and in the logistics and infrastructure sectors and in commercial and tertiary sectors. Italy underscored the new attractive opportunities for China associated with the simplification framework and the incentives outlined in the Destinazione Italia project.

11. The two ministers also expressed the intention to proceed quickly toward the drafting of a new 3-year action plan on strengthened economic, commercial and financial cooperation for 2014-2016, to be submitted as soon as possible for signing by their respective Heads of Government.

12. The ministers acknowledged with satisfaction the broad-based and growing synergies in scientific and technological cooperation, which extend to the sector of space activity through collaboration between the two countries’ space agencies.

13. The ministers also acknowledged the growing role of collaboration in the sectors of environmental protection and sustainable development. They underscored their nations’ common interest in further strengthening cooperation in these areas and in relation to industrial collaboration in the market of innovative green technologies. In this regard, they were pleased to note a reinforcement in collaboration through partnerships recently set up between the sector firms of the two countries.

14. They also confirmed the special importance of cultural collaboration, taking note of the importance both countries attribute to enhancing their respective cultural and archaeological heritage. In this context, it was agreed to launch negotiations on renewal of the executive cultural collaboration programme between the Italian Republic and the People’s Republic of China for 2014-2017. They also agreed that negotiations should resume on a bilateral agreement concerning the establishment of cultural centres to facilitate the teaching of the Chinese and Italian languages in their respective countries.

15. In the area of educational and university collaboration, they carefully noted the growing interest being generated at Italian and Chinese universities, as well as the significant increase in Chinese students enrolled at Italian universities, fostered by the success of the “Marco Polo” and “Turandot” programmes. The two agreed on further intensifying information exchanges between authorities for the purpose of ensuring quality services to the students of both nations, with a view to developing fruitful exchanges and bilateral collaboration in education.

16. The two ministers hailed respective increases in tourism, underscoring the importance of tourism cooperation in order to encourage economic growth and to increase mutual understanding and friendship between their two peoples. They observed that such dynamism is also associated with the large number of visas issued by the Italian diplomatic-consular network in China and Italy’s decision to open a new Consulate General in Chongqing.

17. In addition to the above-mentioned sectors Ministers Bonino and Wang Yi agreed on the importance, for the purpose of policies aimed at the sustainable development of China, of pursuing bilateral cooperation in the following sectors: (a) environmental technologies and sustainable development; (b) agriculture and food security; (c) sustainable urban development; and (d) health and healthcare services. To that end, specific operational approaches to strengthening collaboration between the two countries will be studied.

18. The ministers reiterated their commitment to collaborating on the success of the 2015 Milan Universal Expo – where China’s representation is going to be one of the most extensive of the entire expo, and on the basis of the experience of the 2010 Shanghai Expo – in the common awareness that the event will be an extraordinary opportunity to promote the exchange of respective experiences and skills in the area of nutrition as well as to strengthen ties.

19. The ministers reasserted their intention to continue to develop the governmental committee as the “command centre” for industrial relations between Italy and China, so as to foster, in a constructive spirit of mutual respect, the resolution of existing asymmetries in commercial trade, access to respective goods and services markets, protection of intellectual property and investment flows.

20. It was also underscored that the excellent relations between Italy and China make an essential contribution to the further development of Chinese-European dialogue within the framework of the strategic partnership between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China. Within this context, both nations intend to provide an active contribution to the success of the next European Union-China Summit planned for 21 and 22 November in Beijing. The two parties confirmed their continuing support for greater cooperation between China and the European Union, which can be equally beneficial to both. Reference in this sense was made to the launch of negotiations on an investments agreement and the conclusion of negotiations for an accord on the protection of geographical indications. The two parties also expressed the intention to actively collaborate on the success of the ASEM summit scheduled for October 2014 in Milan during the Italian Presidency of the European Union.

21. The two ministers confirmed their commitment to work toward the promotion of human rights, agreeing on the advisability of developing exchanges and collaboration between the European Union and China in matters of human rights on the basis of the principles of equality and mutual respect.

22. The two parties agreed that the 6th plenary session of the governmental committee would be held in Beijing under the joint chairmanship of the Italian and Chinese foreign ministers.

Signed in Rome, on 30 October 2013, in identical Italian and Chinese language versions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of

The Italian Republic

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of

The People’s Republic of China