Economic and commercial cooperation is the main theme on the agenda of the talks between the two Foreign Affairs Ministers, which are taking place at a time of intense dialogue between the two Governments, following the recent visits to China by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and to Italy by Premier Li Keqiang, and Minister Gentiloni's two visits to Beijing in 2015. Italy is committed to gradually restoring balance to the bilateral balance of trade, in order to make it easier for Italian companies to enter the Chinese market. Italy is also determined to attract an increasing flow of investments and promote Italian know-how in the transport and infrastructure sector, particularly in relation to the Chinese plan to build a new Silk Road through the other transit countries of Europe and Asia. Current international issues, such as the fight against Daesh, the migration emergency and regional crises, including the security situation in the Korean peninsula are among the main topics on today's agenda.
Wide-ranging bilateral cooperation is the focus of the seventh plenary session of the Italy-China Government Committee, involving public administration representatives of both countries. Agriculture, food security, science, sustainable development and tourism are just some of the many sectors in which new cooperation opportunities will be sought.
The plenary session of the bilateral Business Forum is due to take place at Villa Madama this afternoon. The Forum will be attended by over 60 Italian and Chinese leading companies and representatives of major trade associations. This year's Forum agenda will focus on the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, the environment and sustainable development, finance and infrastructure, telecommunications, fashion and interior design. The Forum, now in its third year, has proven to be very effective: the first meeting, in 2014, brought together 70 Italian and 200 Chinese businesses and led to 41 agreements being signed.