A meeting was held in Hanoi on May 30 to mark Italy ’s 66 th Republic Day of June 2.

On addressing the event, the Vice President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations Le Vinh Thu sent his congratulations to Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Lorenzo Angeloni.

He said he is pleased that friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Italy are constantly growing stronger.

On bilateral economic cooperation, two-way trade between Vietnam and Italy rose from 1.5 billion USD in 2009 to 2.5 billion USD in 2011. Investment, official development assistance and joint initiatives in culture and sports have also increased.

Regarding the recent earthquake that shook northern Italy , Thu said he believes that the Italian government and its people will overcome the devastation and record even greater achievements in the future.

Ambassador Angeloni said he hopes that the Italian embassy in Hanoi will liaise more with the Vietnam-Italy Friendship Association to help Vietnamese people understand more about Italian culture and art and provide Italian people with more information about Vietnam and its people.-VNA