Secretary General of the Emilia-Romagna region’s commerce chamber Claudio Pasini (standing) speaks at the working session with the Vietnamese delegation (Photo: VNA)

Rome (VNA) – A trade promotion programme is underway in Bologna and Rome cities from July 23-26, aiming to boost Vietnamese exports to Italy’s distribution network via the Coop Italia and Conad supermarket chains.

The programme is organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the trade office of the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy, authorities of Emilia-Romagna and Lazio regions, the federation of Italian cooperatives LegaCoop, the system of Italian consumer cooperatives Coop Italia and the Agro-Food Centre of Rome (CAR).

In Bologna, the business delegation of Vietnam, led by Director of the MoIT’s European markets department Dang Hoang Hai, met with the Emilia-Romagna region’s chamber of commerce and Coop Italia.

Secretary General of the region’s commerce chamber Claudio Pasini lauded the development potential of Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam. 

He said Vietnam is a strongly growing economy that attracts many foreign investors, including those from Emilia-Romagna. Relations between Vietnam and Italy have been enhanced over the past decade, spurring bilateral trade.

Vietnamese goods have increased in both quantity and quality in recent years, he said, adding that the country also has a young skilled workforce. These factors have helped Vietnam to success in Europe and the world.

[Vietnam seeks stronger economic links with Italy]

Pasini noted the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is expected to take effect in 2018, which will facilitate bilateral economic and trade ties. The Emilia-Romagna region has set up a representative office in Vietnam’s southern province of Binh Duong. Its exports to the country reached 179.5 million USD in 2016 and are expected to grow rapidly.

For his part, Director of the European markets department Dang Hoang Hai said this is the second time the MoIT has held a trade promotion programme in Italy. The activity is held within the framework of the two countries’ joint committee and the plan to boost Vietnamese firms’ direct participation in foreign distribution networks by 2020.

During their trip to Italy, the Vietnamese delegation visited CAR, the biggest centre for agricultural food distribution in Rome and central Italy. The centre is also one of Europe’s most important distribution hubs.

In 2016, trade between Vietnam and Italy surpassed 4.68 billion USD, up 8 percent from 2015, including 3.27 billion USD of Vietnam’s exports.-VNA