A photo of the meeting (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong on November 29 held talks with Ivan Scalfarotto, Italian Deputy Minister of Economic Development who is leading a business delegation on a visit to the city.

The leader of HCM City hailed the thriving cooperation between the city and Italy, notably with the city of Turin.

HCM City is striving to build itself into a centre of economy, finance, trade and science-technology in the region, Phong said. To realise the target, the city strongly needs foreign investment, especially in four major industries of food processing, chemical-rubber, mechanics and electronic-information technology.

The official vowed to create favourable climate and ensure legitimate rights and interests for Italian investors in HCM City.

Lauding the dynamism of HCM City and its role in Vietnam’s economic development, Scalfarotto said that Italian firms are willing to work with HCM City in various fields, including mechanical engineering, green energy and traffic infrastructure.

He stressed that the Italian Government is also ready to support Italian firms’ partnership with HCM City to develop small- and medium-sized enterprises, along with helping the city improve product quality in the industries of textile, leather shoes and wooden furniture as they are Italy’s strong points.

At the meeting, Alessandro Decio, CEO of Italy Export Credit Agency said the fund will earmark 250 million EUR for Italian firms that want to operate in Vietnam’s oil and gas industry, and another 400 million EUR for those which wish to invest in mechanical engineering, metal products and related fields.

The fund is also willing to provide support for Vietnamese businesses to buy machinery and technology from Italy, he said.

Italian businesses expressed their interest in projects in HCM City in textile, architecture, smart urban building and traffic infrastructure.

Two-way trade of HCM City and Italy hit 600 million USD in 2016 and 510 million USD in the first 10 months of 2017. As of October 31, there were 28 Italian-funded projects in HCM City with total capital of about 70 million USD.-VNA