President confident of reaching 6 billion USD trade target with Italy hinh anh 1President Tran Dai Quang (R) and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella inspect the guard of honour (Source: VNA)

Rome (VNA)
– The target of 6 billion USD in two-way trade between Vietnam and Italy in 2017-2018 is within reach since the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement is going to be sealed, President Tran Dai Quang said.

The Vietnamese State leader made the remark at the Vietnam-Italy Business Forum in Rome on November 23 as part of his State-level visit to the European country.

Vietnam wishes that Italy will open its market for Vietnamese farm produce and seafood, President Quang said.

He stated that Vietnam encourages Italian firms to invest in mechanical engineering, garment-textiles, leather footwear and timber and food processing, as well as cooperation between the two countries’ small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The President also called for Italian investment in transport and technology-information infrastructure under the form of public-private partnership (PPP) model.

He urged Italian enterprises to share experience with their Vietnamese counterparts and help them connect with the global market.

He also expressed hope that Italy, as one of the world’s powers in tourism, will share its experience with Vietnam in promoting tourism and preserving historical sites and cultural heritage.

The leader affirmed the Vietnamese State’s commitment to creating an open, favourable and equal investment climate so as to meet requirements of international integration, for the sake of the two countries’ firms.

“Vietnam warmly welcomes Italian enterprises and pins high hope on their success in the country,” he stated.

President Quang went on to say that Vietnam wishes to elevate the bilateral strategic partnership to a new level that matches the two countries’ potential, strength and demands, making it a model of the Asia-Europe and ASEAN-EU cooperation.

He used the occasion to brief Italian firms on achievements Vietnam has recorded during the past 30 years of reform.

Vietnam has transformed from an underdeveloped country to a developing one with middle-income status, stablised macro economy and tamed inflation, the leader said.

The country’s per capita income now stands at about 2,100 USD and its economic scale exceeded 200 billion USD.

Vietnam is set to fulfill its commitments to the ASEAN Community and the World Trade Organisation, and join new-generation free trade agreements, including a deal with the EU, while continuing with international integration, he said.

The President also highlighted the fruitful relationship between Vietnam and Italy, particularly since the two countries signed a joint statement on the strategic partnership in January 2013.

Italy is one of Vietnam’s major European trade partners with total bilateral trade rising from 3.4 billion USD in 2013 to 4.3 billion UD in 2015. Meanwhile, Vietnam is Italy’s largest trade partner in the ASEAN.

Italy now has 77 investment projects in the Southeast Asian nation with many brand names now popular in Vietnam such as Piaggio motorbike and Ariston water heater.

At the forum, the leader also talked about the thriving affiliation in culture, education-training and science-technology between the two countries.-VNA