Italian investors seek to expand operation in Vietnam  - illustrative image (Source: Internet)

Hanoi (VNA) - More and more Italian firms are intending to move their investment to Vietnam, aiming to turn the country into a gateway for them to enter other Southeast Asian nations, said an expert from the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Icham).

Icham Executive Director Pham Hoang Hai said Italian investors have planned to shift their processing and production facilities to Vietnam instead of China in the context of the upcoming signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the US-China trade tension.

He attributed the situation to the saturation in the Chinese market in the last decade, saying that foreign businesses operating in China have met many problems related to copyright and legal framework.

Icham appreciated the Vietnamese Government’s support for foreign enterprises and Italian ones in particular, when investing in Vietnam, especially those related to tax, he said, adding the low-priced labour is also a competitive advantage of Vietnam.

Vietnam has devised measures to create comprehensive competitive edges in different fields such as high technology, renewable energy, and science-technology.

Stronger efforts should be made to further promote the support industry, thus attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI), Hai stressed.

Italian enterprises are waiting for the approval of EVFTA because Italy is one of the countries benefiting most from the trade deal when it takes effect. The pact will give opportunities to Italy to export many kinds of goods to Vietnam such as mechanical and wood products, fabrics and pharmaceutical products.

Italy is the fourth largest economic partner of Vietnam in Europe. As of November 2018, trade between Vietnam and Italy hit 5.2 billion USD. The country ranked 31st among 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 389 million USD.

Italy is the fourth biggest exporter of pharmaceuticals in Europe, and Vietnam is one of its target markets, with the aim of gradually entering the Southeast Asian and Asian markets.

According to Icham, Vietnam’s pharmaceutical industry has seen strong growth. It imported over 18,095 million USD worth of pharmaceuticals over the last decade. -VNA