A number of businesses from the Lazio region in Italy, a major centre of diplomatic and commercial activities, have shown interest in the young, dynamic Vietnamese market.

Addressing a workshop on March 16, Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Hoang Long said the consumer demand in his country is increasing with made-in-Italy products soaring in popularity.

He called on Italian businesses to financially assist Vietnam in seed selection, technological application, manufacturing activities, trademark promotion and market penetration.

He said he hopes the active negotiations for the free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the EU and the separate agreements reached by Vietnam and Italy will help increase trade between the two countries.

The trade pact is expected to increase Vietnamese exports to EU countries by 30-40 percent, and EU exports to Vietnam by 20-25 percent, he noted.

Vietnam and Italy established diplomatic ties in 1973 and elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership in 2013. Since then, bilateral cooperation has been raised to a new height in politics, economics, culture, social affairs and education.

Noticeably, bilateral trade increased 17 percent to 4.1 billion USD in 2014.

Italy is the 15th biggest importer of Vietnamese products and Vietnam ’s 3 rd largest trade partner in the EU.

It is ranked 28th of 101 nations and territories investing in Vietnam with 56 valid projects worth over 300 million USD run by big companies like the Italy national oil and gas company (ENI), Piaggio, Ariston, and Gattonini.

The two countries held the first session of the joint committee on economic cooperation in November 2014 and organised a number of workshops and trade forums in the respective countries to support business players.

So far, Vietnam has opened three economic offices in Tuscany , Emilia-Romagna , and Lombardy in Italy , embracing the economic ties between the two.-VNA