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Italy officially became the first member of the Group of Seven largest industrialized countries to join the Chinese “Belt and Road” infrastructure project, Reuters reported.

It was noted that by taking this step Rome brushed off worries among its Western allies in a bid to revive the flagging Italian economy.

The signing ceremony was the highlight of the three-day visit of China’s leader Xi Jinping to Italy at a time when the United States was in a trade war with China.

In addition, Italian and Chinese companies signed 10 deals  in the energy, steel and gas pipeline sectors.  

The details of the agreement are not known yet, but a source in the Italian government told the agency that, in general, the contracts could potentially be worth up to 20 billion euros.

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