Italy wants to resume economic, trade and human rights dialogue with China, foreign minister Antonio Tajani tweeted after talks in Rome with the Asian superpower's top diplomat late on Thursday.
"Today I met China's Central Foreign Affairs Commission chief Wang Li," read Tajani's tweet.
"Italy seeks to relaunch bilateral dialogue with China in the economic and trade fields as well as on global issues, including human rights," the tweet added.
During his talks with Wang, Tajani "expressed his appreciation" at the 5% increase in Italy's exports to China last year compared with 2021, according to a foreign ministry statement.
Tajani also recalled the importance of improving the balance of trade with China - Italy's main trading partner in Asia - and of achieving better access to the Chinese market for Italian companies, said the statement.
The Italy-China Year of Culture and Tourism 2022's success highlights the important role played by culture in the bilateral relationship, Tajani and Wang agreed, according to the statement.
For his part, Wang told Tajani that China is "read to deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation" and wants to rapidly boost cooperation in various areas such as digital technology and the green economy, state news agency Xinhua reported, citing Chinese diplomatic sources.
The 2.5 billion euro Belt and Road Initiative MoU signed between China and Italy in 2019 to improve connectivity between the two countries had greatly enhanced bilateral ties, Wang told Tajani, the diplomatic sources said.
Wang also told Tajani that Beijing is also read to boost imports of high quality Italian goods, to support Italian companies seeking a greater presence in the Chinese market, and hopes that Italian businesses will compete fairly with Chinese ones, the sources added.