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Belt and Road Initiative 'unsatisfactory' - Italy

Italy’s then- prime minister Giuseppe Conte (R) greets China's president Xi Jinping upon his arrival for their meeting at Villa Madama in Rome on March 23, 2019 as part of a two-day visit to Italy. Photo: AFP
Italy’s then- prime minister Giuseppe Conte (R) greets China's president Xi Jinping upon his arrival for their meeting at Villa Madama in Rome on March 23, 2019 as part of a two-day visit to Italy. Photo: AFP
06 settembre 2023 | 18.59
LETTURA: 1 minuti

The Belt and Road Initiative global infrastructure investment deal inked with China four years ago has proved "unsatisfactory" foreign minister Antonio Tajani said Wednesday, underlining Italy's interest in relaunching a 2004 bilateral strategic partnership.

"The Silk Road' Memorandum, from our point of view, has produced unsatisfactory results so far in terms of exports and investments," Tajani told MPs during parliamentary question time.

"The strategic partnership embraces all sectors and is therefore more important than individual bilateral agreements such as the BRI," Tajani said.

Relaunching the global strategic partnership signed by then-premiers Silvio Berlusconi and was the focus of Tajani's two-day visit to Beijing on Sunday and Monday, he recalled.

"My visit to Beijing was aimed at opening a new chapter of strengthened partnership between Italy and China," Tajani said.

"We agreed on the importance of doing this...I underlined to my Chinese interlocutors our shared interest in developing, not jeopardising the partnership's vast potential," he continued.

"Our priority is the diplomacy of growth, the promotion of exports and the protection of Italian investments," Tajani stated.

Italy became the first developed economy to join the BRI in 2019 - a move criticised by its Western allies. The deal will renew automatically unless Rome makes a formal request to withdraw from it by December.

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