Vietnam-Italy trade, investment thrive

11:32 | 07/03/2016 MUTRAP Corner

(VEN) - Trade and investment between Vietnam and Italy have shown signs of thriving. Bilateral trade increased from US$1.13 billion in 2006 to US$4.3 billion in 2015. Italy currently ranks 31st among 110 countries and territories having investment projects in Vietnam.

vietnam italy trade investment thrive
The signing ceremony for the minutes of the second session of the Vietnam-Italy Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation

In 2015 Vietnam exported over US$2.86 billion worth of products to Italy and imported more than US$1.46 billion worth of Italian products. Italy has become the 18th largest import, export market for Vietnamese businesses. In the EU market, Italy is Vietnam’s fifth largest export partner and third largest import partner.

By the end of December 2015, Italy ranked 31st among 110 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 67 ongoing projects and total registered capital of US$340.23 million. Italy has invested in 11 out of 21 sectors of the Vietnamese economy, with processing, manufacturing industries topping the list. Although Italian foreign direct investment in Vietnam is still modest, the largest projects are in the industrial sector with examples including Piaggio (motorcycle manufacturing and assembly), Datalogic (scanner manufacturing), Bonfiglioli (engine manufacturing), and Ariston (water heater manufacturing).

The two countries have established a joint commission on economic cooperation between the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade. The commission successfully organized its first session in Hanoi on November 25, 2014 and second session in Roma on October 16, 2015. The third session is expected to take place in Hanoi this November on the occasion of Vietnam Food Expo 2016. Italy will be invited as the Country of Honor at this event.

The cooperation between Vietnam and Italy and bilateral economic ties in particular have been strengthened and expanded. Apart from cooperation agreements signed between ministries and sectors, regions, provinces, and cities of the two countries have promoted cooperation in a range of fields.

A cooperation agreement was signed between the Emilia Romagna region and Binh Duong Province on October 16, 2013 during a visit to Vietnam by Palma Costi, President of the Legislative Assembly of the Emilia Romagna region. On September 11, 2015, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Emilia Romagna region opened its representative office in Binh Duong Province. The Italian city of Torino and Ho Chi Minh City signed a cooperation agreement on September 8, 2015 on the occasion of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Chairman Le Hoang Quan’s visit to Italy.

Currently, negotiations are underway for a tourism cooperation agreement to be signed between the Veneto region and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, and a stone mining cooperation agreement between Carrara and Yen Bai provinces.

2015 marked a significant time in Vietnam’s integration into the regional and global economies. Vietnam has joined many free trade agreements and become a member of the ASEAN Economic Community, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and officially concluded negotiations on the EU-Vietnam FTA. These FTAs will bring Vietnam lots of opportunities, helping it become an attractive destination for foreign investors and Italian businesses in particular.

The cooperation between Vietnam and Italy and bilateral economic ties in particular have been strengthened and expanded.

Bui Vuong Anh, Vietnamese Commercial Counselor in Italy