Deputy-ministerial level Vietnam-Italy political consultation held hinh anh 1Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung and Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy Manlio Di Stefano chaired the third political consultation at deputy foreign ministerial level via a teleconference on May 26.

Di Stefano conveyed congratulations from Italian senior leaders to leaders of the Vietnamese Party, State, Government and National Assembly, while affirming his wish to boost cooperation between the two countries.

He stressed cooperation in trade and investment continues to be a pillar in the Italy-Vietnam strategic partnership. Despite COIVD-19, bilateral trade reached 1.8 billion USD in the first four months of this year, up 28 percent from the same period last year.

Deputy FM Dung affirmed Vietnam’s consistent external policy, with promoting relations with important partners, including Italy.
He highly valued the bilateral effective cooperation across areas in recent times. Italy is Vietnam’s fourth largest trade partner in the European Union (EU), while Vietnam is Italy’s biggest trade partner in ASEAN.

He said the two sides need to take advantage of positive impacts brought by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to meet the target of raising bilateral trade to 5 billion USD.

He asked Italy to soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), and facilitate economic cooperation between Vietnam and the EU as well as and Italy.

Discussing the current pandemic situation, the two sides said that vaccination is an important factor for the early opening of economies, affirming their commitment to continuing coordination in sharing experience in pandemic prevention and control, accessing safe and effective vaccine sources as well as transferring vaccine production technology. They also vowed to collaborate with and support each other in taking post-COVID-19 economic development measures.

The two sides agreed to strengthen the exchange of delegations and regular contacts between the two countries' high-ranking leaders, continue to effectively implement the mechanisms that they have built up over the years, and coordinate in mapping out activities to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-Italy Strategic Partnership in 2023.

On the multilateral aspect, the two sides agreed to continue to actively coordinate in sharing information and exchanging consultative views and stances on international and regional issues of mutual concern.

Deputy FM Dung welcomed Italy for becoming a development partner of ASEAN during Vietnam's Chairmanship, expressing his belief that this is the basis to make ASEAN - Italy cooperation more effective and substantive.

At the end of the political consultation, on behalf of the Governments of the two countries, Dung and Di Stefano signed the Action Plan to implement the Vietnam - Italy Strategic Partnership for the 2021-2022 period, with a vision toward 2023. Accordingly, the two countries will focus on boosting collaboration in politics, diplomacy, defence, science and technology, culture, tourism, and development cooperation, energy, environment, sustainable development and transportation./.