March 5 (Reuters) - Italy has planned to sign a memorandum of understanding to become part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
"The negotiation is not over yet, but it is possible that it will be concluded in time for [Xi's] visit," the newspaper reported on.ft.com/2EEhKv3 quoting Michele Geraci, the undersecretary in the Italian economic development ministry.
The Belt and Road initiative, championed by President Xi Jinping, aims to link China by sea and land with southeast and central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, through an infrastructure network on the lines of the old Silk Road.
Aside from boosting trade and investment, Xi aims to boost exchanges in areas such as science, technology, culture and education.
Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips