China is ready to strengthen “a global strategic partnership” with Italy, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote in an Italian daily on the eve of his visit to the euro zone’s third-largest economy.

“With my visit I wish to set out together with Italian leaders the guidelines for bilateral relations and take them into a new era,” Xi said in an article he wrote for Corriere della Sera.

Xi said China was ready to coordinate more closely with Italy over international issues such as climate change, including within multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation and the G20.

He also said China and Italy could develop cooperation projects in sectors such as ports, shipping, telecoms and pharmaceuticals and encourage their respective companies to cooperate in third countries.