FLORENCE, May 22 (Xinhua) -- China's top lawmaker Wu Bangguo arrived in Florence on Friday morning to continue his official goodwill visit to Italy.
Before leaving Rome for Florence, Wu met with Gianfranco Fini, president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, or the lower house of parliament, and discussed efforts to boost parliamentary exchanges between their two countries.
During the meeting, Wu said his visit was aimed at boosting exchanges between the parliaments of the two countries. The two sides reached important consensus on deepening relations between the National People's Congress (NPC) of China and Italy's Chamber of Deputies.
Wu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, expressed willingness to work with the Italian side in preparation for the third session of the cooperation committee of the NPC and the Chamber of Deputies.
Noting that the two parliaments should jointly maintain and promote the sound development of China-Italy relations, Wu welcomed more Italian parliament members to visit China.
For his part, Fini said it was the common view of all political parties in Italy to advance relations with China. He said the Chamber of Deputies attaches importance to developing friendly links with the NPC.
He expressed readiness to join efforts with the Chinese side to secure positive results at the third session of the cooperation committee so as to make fresh contributions to advancing bilateral ties.
Wu also signed an agreement with Senate President Renato Schifani on establishing a mechanism for regular exchanges between the NPC and the Italian Senate.
On bilateral relations, Wu said there was no contradiction in essential interests nor pending problems between the two countries.
He said that in face of the new world situation, especially the challenges posed by the international financial crisis, further reinforcing and strengthening the all-round strategic partnership between China and Italy was of even greater practical significance.
Fini said the Chamber of Deputies has maintained close exchanges and cooperation with the NPC. He said Wu's visit has not only lifted the level of inter-parliamentary cooperation, but also added new impetus to relations between the two countries.
On Thursday afternoon, Wu visited a research and development center under the Italian National Agency for New Technology, Energy and Environment (ENEA). He inspected a high-temperature solar heating system.
Wu said it was a global trend in the energy sector to develop new and renewable energy. He said the Chinese government places great importance in and actively promotes the development and application of all kinds of renewable energy, including solar energy.
He expressed the wish that research institutes and companies of the two countries would increase cooperation and mutual investment so as to jointly exploit the renewable energy market.
After Florence, Wu will visit Venice.