Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Rome on Thursday at the start of a three-day visit during which he will sign an accord drawing Italy into his giant "Belt and Road" infrastructure plan, despite U.S. opposition.
Italy, seeking new export deals to boost its stalled economy, will become the first Group of Seven major industrialized nation to join the multi-billion-dollar project, which is designed to improve Beijing's global trade reach.
Xi is due to meet Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Friday and is set to sign the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday before traveling to the Sicilian capital Palermo.
More than 30 deals, worth up to 7 billion euros, are also expected to be agreed during the trip in an array of sectors, including accords opening up the northern ports of Trieste and Genoa to Chinese containers.
Source : VOA