Italy sees the Shanghai World Expo as an opportunity to boost bilateral ties with China and increase cooperation in strategic fields, Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told Xinhua on Wednesday.
"We want to show the best of Italy to the Chinese people, making 2010 the year of closer cooperation between Italy and China," Frattini said. "This opportunity is offered by the Shanghai Expo."
Frattini said Italy aims to enhance bilateral cooperation with China in such sectors as tourism, green technology and manufacturing, which are at the core of both economies.
Besides, the minister said this year will be crucial as it is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Italy-China diplomatic ties.
The Chinese culture year in Italy will start in September with a series of events highlighting the ancient cultural link between the two countries, the minister said.
Frattini stressed the importance of the Italian pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, which will showcase the country's sophisticated design, art, culture and high technology.
"Our participation will focus on human life, including life quality, lifestyle and environment protection," Frattini said.
"Italy will greatly contribute to the underlying theme of the expo: how to make best use of new technologies to facilitate daily life and how to place technological research and industry at the service of mankind," he said.
"Shanghai (Expo) represents a good opportunity to boost people-to- people and business-to-business contacts," he added.
Meanwhile, Frattini said it would help promote the Milan Expo in 2015.
"In the coming five years, between one expo and the other, we hope to improve bilateral cooperation, mutual knowledge and understanding of our societies," said Frattini, who will visit Shanghai during the Shanghai Expo.
Frattini said preparations for the Milan Expo were underway. Close contacts have been made with international partners.
"Italy is preparing to host a large number of states with the goal to invest in how to protect the planet and the environment," he said.
The Milan Expo will be held under the theme "Feeding the planet, energy for life." Topics it touches upon are expected to include climate change and sensible use of natural resources.
Frattini said he looked forward to China's participation. "We are expecting a significant presence of China in Milan."