09:54 | 09/11/2015 Cooperation
Visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella emphasised the important roles of businesses, associations and universities in materialising reforms and innovations, and strengthening co-operation between Italy and Vietnam, while addressing the Vietnam-Italy Strategic Dialogue in Ho Chi Minh City on November 8.
The Vietnam-Italy Strategic Dialogue held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 8 (Image credit: VGP)
According to Mattarella, successful Italian businesses will act as spokesmen for Italy’s co-operative models and co-operation commitments in Vietnam.
For his part, Deputy Prime Minister Ninh said that despite global economic setbacks, Italy’s trade with Vietnam rose 15% last year, making the country its fourth largest EU trading partner. The countries’ two-way trade hit US$4 billion in 2014, a 17-percent increase from 2013.
Investments from the European country, however, remain modest. By the end of 2014, it ranked ninth in the EU bloc and 28th among foreign investors in Vietnam, Ninh said.
He noted that the time was right for both countries to elevate their economic connections. He suggested they hold frequent discussions on related measures and facilitate links between small and medium-sized businesses, as well as those from regional localities for co-operation in Italy’s strengths of infrastructure, transport, energy, manufacturing and processing.
Participating businesspeople and agency representatives discussed trade liberalisation and potential partnerships across sectors, focusing on education, science and technology.
The visiting Italian President met with municipal People’s Committee Chairman Le Hoang Quan on November 7. He said Ho Chi Minh City is placed in the centre of Italy’s co-operation with Vietnam, citing the European country’s opening of its Consulate General in the southern metropolis.
The official noted his hope that after the President’s official visit, relations between Vietnam and Italy will be brought to the next level.
The same day, the host and guest attended a performance by Italian and Vietnamese artists to welcome the President’s visit./.