Italy's Socialist prime minister, Bettino Craxi, today said that despite President Reagan's newly imposed economic boycott of Nicaragua, his government intends to go ahead with plans to help build a multimillion-dollar thermoelectric plant there.

At the seven-nation economic summit in Bonn last week, the Italian government, which currently holds the presidency of the European Community, declared that the community's 10 members were opposed to the idea of a trade boycott.

Speaking today at a press conference in Rome, Craxi stressed that the Italian government believes that the best way to deal with Nicaragua is through negotiations.

Craxi also announced that he soon will take up an invitation from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to visit the Soviet Union.

On Central America, Craxi said that the Italian government "finds itself in the same position" as Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama, the four countries of the Contadora group that have been calling for a negotiated settlement of the problems of the region. The Contadora group also has criticized the U.S. economic sanctions against Nicaragua.

He said that Italy "will maintain its commitment" to the construction of a multinational thermoelectric project in the south of Nicaragua. The cost of the project is expected to be $25 million.