Italian economists spoke highly of the economic development potential of Vietnam during a workshop in Rome on January 14.

They continued by saying Vietnam is a dynamic Asian country with a young population, skilled workforce, and average gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5-6 percent per year.

The establishment of a bilateral strategic partnership in 2013 has created significant opportunities for both countries to promote their trade ties, according to Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long.

Vietnam has also developed investment attraction policies and successfully integrated into the global economy, both of which are expected to draw more Italian investors, he added.

In November 2014, the largest-ever delegation of Italian businesses, consisting of over 100 groups, came to explore investment opportunities in the country.

By opening a representative trade office in Milan city, the economic and financial hub of the northern administrative Emilia-Romagna Region, Vietnam hopes to have more Italian business partners.

Enterprises from the Lazio region, a major centre of diplomatic and commercial activities are willing to partner with Vietnam in industrial machine manufacturing, garments and textiles, and footwear.

Deputy Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda said Italy could promote economic cooperation with Vietnam in technology and machine manufacturing, among other fields.

However, he noted that current bilateral cooperation efforts have been limited due to the lack of business information. Therefore, a number of workshops introducing ways to enhance economic cooperation between Vietnam and Italy have been organised to address this, he added.

As of December 2014, Italy had conducted 57 investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of over 300 million USD, ranking 29 th out of the 101 countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian nation.

Last year, trade between the two nations hit 3.5 billion USD and is expected to reach 5.9 billion USD in 2016.-VNA