Italy, China sign 8 billion euros in deals

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ROME (AP) — The Italian and Chinese prime ministers have signed letters of intent on projects worth 8 billion euros ($10 billion), including a Chinese line of credit to Italian energy company Enel.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told a news conference before the signing Tuesday that China does not want to run a trade surplus with Italy and would like to import more Italian products, citing Italian craftsmanship and technology.

China is Italy's second-largest trading partner outside of Europe, with 33 billion euros in trade during the first six months of the year.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi has been actively seeking Chinese investment in Italy to help relaunch the moribund economy. China's state bank holds stakes in Italian carmaker Fiat, now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Telecom Italia, and the energy company Eni, among others.