The inception of the Italy-Vietnam Friendship Association’s chapter in the northern Emilia-Romagna region is important to the development of traditional friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Chairman of the Italy-Vietnam Friendship Association Fausto Co made the remark at a ceremony in Bologna city on January 31 to introduce the chapter to the public, the seventh of its kind at regional level in Italy .

The chapter members are responsible for promoting the image of Vietnam and enhancing the relationship between Vietnamese and Emilia-Romagna people in wide-ranging fields such as culture, education, science and economics, he said.

The birth of the chapter signals closer rapport between Vietnam and the region, Secretary of the association Nguyen Maily Anna Maria said, adding that this will aid bilateral business ties.

As one of the most dynamic and developing regions in Italy, Emilia-Romagna has carried out various programmes in recent years to forge cultural and economic links with Vietnam – which is considered a commercial gateway to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The region is one of the top investors in Vietnam with strengths in machine manufacturing, transportation, logistics, information technology, and food industry. Two-way trade was estimated at 300 million USD in 2013, up nearly 30 percent year-on-year.

In 2014, a delegation of over 100 business people from the region sought investment opportunities in Vietnam .

Established in 1986, the Italy-Vietnam Friendship Association has held a variety of activities to promote the image of Vietnam to Italian friends and develop multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries, including people-to-people exchanges.-VNA