President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM) Michele D’Ercole addresses the workshop in Rome on November 9 (Photo: VNA)

Rome (VNA) – Investment chances in Vietnam, especially once the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) takes effect, were introduced to Italian entrepreneurs at a workshop in Rome on November 9. 

President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM) Michele D’Ercole and ICHAM Executive Director Pham Hoang Hai informed local investors about Vietnam’s economy at present, including the positive economic growth and foreign investment attraction.

Participants were provided with concrete information about the fields Vietnam is prioritising while Italy holds strength in, along with cooperation prospects and investment chances once the EVFTA is ratified and comes into force. They were also given details of Vietnam’s investment attraction policies and procedures.

ICHAM President Michele D’Ercole told Vietnam News Agency that the Southeast Asian nation has enjoyed growth in both industrial products and foreign investment in recent years. 

He noted compared to other ASEAN countries, Vietnam boasts many advantages to attract foreign direct investment, with political stability the biggest strength. While about 60 percent of its population are of working age, low labour cost is also a competitive edge of the country. Vietnam is stepping up training to improve its human resources quality to meet foreign investors’ demand. It is also promoting measures to enhance its competitiveness in different sectors like high technology and renewable energy.

Michele D’Ercole said Italy is very interested in the EVFTA, which will take effect in the near future. At that time, Italian firms will have a number of opportunities to cooperate with Vietnam in the fields they are strong at.

The reduction of tariffs to zero percent under this deal will facilitate bilateral trade. Italy can export numerous commodities to Vietnam such as machines, wood products, fabric and garment, and assist Vietnamese partners to manufacture many items like footwear, leather products, fabric and medical and chemical products. Italian companies can also make use of their scientific and technological strengths to help Vietnam develop some sectors, especially agriculture, he added.

Regarding measures to foster economic links, Trade Counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy Nguyen Duc Thanh said the two countries set up the strategic partnership in 2013. They also established a joint economic committee to bolster bilateral cooperation and investment. Despite a continuous growth over the past year, their trade turnover has yet to fully reflect the potential of their businesses.

He suggested both sides increase mutual high-ranking visits to warm up the strategic partnership as well as relations between all-level authorities and sectors. They should also boost economic ties between their localities, for example the cooperation deal between Veneto region and Ba Ria – Vung Tau province or the one between some construction stone mining areas of Italy and Yen Bai province. Additionally, it is needed to tighten connections between the countries’ industries and businesses.

Italy is now the fourth biggest European economic partner of Vietnam. Bilateral trade approximated 5 billion USD in 2017. With total capital of 389 million USD, Italy ranks 31st among 126 countries and territories directly investing in the ASEAN nation.-VNA