By  on January 31, 2008

MILAN — An agreement aimed at improving relations between Italy and China was signed here Wednesday and marked a significant change of attitude within the nation's fashion industry toward the Asian giant, which until recently was viewed by most Italian entrepreneurs as a danger rather than an opportunity.

As the Chamber of Fashion divulged stagnant economic trends for 2008, with a projected growth in sales of only 1 percent to 70.23 billion euros, or $102.63 billion at current exchange, China was highlighted as "the only big economy that continues to show dynamism."

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