PM affirms importance of partnership with Italy during talks

11:04 | 06/06/2019 Cooperation

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed that Vietnam always treasures the friendship and multifaceted partnership with Italy, an important member of the European Union (EU).

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Italian PM Giuseppe Conte - Photo: NDO

He made the statement during talks with his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte in Hanoi on June 5, following the welcoming ceremony in the morning the same day.

The Vietnamese PM welcomed the two-day visit by the Italian government leader, which came after the two countries celebrated their 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of strategic partnership, last year.

Conte, for his part, lauded Vietnam’s dynamic development and rising position in the regional and global arena with the successful organisation of important international events. He affirmed that the Italian government wants to further reinforce its strategic partnership with Vietnam, and considers Vietnam a leading partner in Southeast Asia, demonstrated by the selection of Vietnam as the venue for the third High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN – Italy Economic Relations.

Welcoming the fact that Vietnam is Italy’s largest trade partner in ASEAN, the PMs promised to make it easier for the two nations’ firms to partner up in fields of Italy’s strength and Vietnam’s demand such as mechanical engineering, infrastructure, textile and garment, footwear, wood processing, support industry, construction materials, oil and gas, renewable energy and food processing.

Both sides expressed determination to raise their two-way trade to US$ 6 billion by 2020 and US$10 billion in subsequent years from the current level of nearly US$ 5 billion.

PM Phuc welcomed the initiative to hold the third High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN – Italy Economic Relations in Hanoi, describing it as an important opportunity for Italy to foster trade and investment ties with Vietnam and ASEAN member states. He said with its central position in the network of free trade agreements in Asia-Pacific, Vietnam will serve as a gateway for Italian enterprises to expand to Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific.

The host and his guest both agreed on the importance of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement. Conte expressed his support for the early signing and ratification of those deals, which, he said, will contribute to promoting bilateral trade and investment, meeting interests of each side.

Discussing regional and global issues of shared concern, the PMs pledged to work closely together and offer mutual support at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, and the ASEAN – EU.

The Vietnamese leader accepted an invitation to visit Italy by his Italian counterpart. The specific timeline will be arranged via diplomatic channels.