Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) received Italian Ambassador Cecilia Piccion, who came to say good-bye to him at the end of her tenure, in Hanoi on October 24 (Photo: VNA)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received Italian Ambassador Cecilia Piccion, who came to say good-bye to him at the end of her tenure, in Hanoi on October 24.

At the reception, the PM spoke highly of the successful tenure of the diplomat, adding that she has made various contributions to the development of the Vietnam – Italy strategic partnership.

The bilateral relations saw strides during her term, and many Italian firms have come to Vietnam to invest in the country. However, the potential for cooperation remains huge, especially in trade and investment, he noted.

The EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will be a driving force to lift the two-way trade turnover and investment, as well as a good opportunity for businesses of the countries, Phuc said, voicing his hope that Italy will push the signing and ratification of the EVFTA.

The Vietnamese Government will create optimal conditions for foreign investors, including those from Italy, he pledged.

The Government leader also expressed his belief that the Italian diplomat will contribute to the Vietnam-Italy ties in her new position.

For her part, Ambassador Cecilia Piccion thanked the Vietnamese Govermenment, ministries and authorities for their support to her during her work in the country, and voiced her hope for the early signing and ratification of the EVFTA.

Italy is currently the fourth biggest trade partner of Vietnam in the European Union while Vietnam is the biggest trade partner of Italy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Over the past five years, two-way trade neared 5 billion USD each year, and both sides are working to lift it to 6 billion USD for 2017-2018. Within 10 years, from the fourth place, Vietnam has become the largest trade partner of Italy among the 10 ASEAN member countries.

As of February 2018, Italy ranked 31st out of the 128 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 88 projects worth more than 388 million USD. The Italian government has added Vietnam into its list of 10 emerging markets prioritised for trade and investment ties.-VNA