World

Italy, China sign 8 billion euros in deals as economic ties deepen

  • Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, left, and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi shake hands after giving a joint a press conference at the end of their meeting at Chigi Palace government office in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

    Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, left, and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi shake hands after giving a joint a press conference at the end of their meeting at Chigi Palace government office in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)  (The Associated Press)

  • Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, left, shake hands for photographers in the courtyard of Chigi Palace government office in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

    Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, left, shake hands for photographers in the courtyard of Chigi Palace government office in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang attends a joint press conference with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, not pictured, at the end of their meeting at Chigi Palace government office in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

    Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang attends a joint press conference with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, not pictured, at the end of their meeting at Chigi Palace government office in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)  (The Associated Press)

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.