Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh (L) meets with Italy’s Lower House Speaker Roberto Fico on October 18 (Photo: VNA)

Rome (VNA) - Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh called on the Italian parliament to support the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) during his meeting with Italy’s Lower House Speaker Roberto Fico on October 18.

Binh expressed his hope that the economic, trade and investment ties between Vietnam and Italy will grow further, matching their potential and strength.

He urged the two sides to lift the bilateral trade to 6 billion USD in the time ahead, and encouraged Italian businesses to step up their investment in Vietnam in such areas as support industry, manufacturing mechanics, infrastructure, energy and tourism.

The official highlighted the fruitful strategic partnership between Vietnam and Italy across fields, from politics-diplomacy to trade-investment, culture, education, science-technology, justice and environment.

The two countries have organised diverse activities this year to celebrate the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and five years of the implementation of the strategic partnership, he said.

For his part, Roberto Fico lauded achievements in socio-economic development and international integration Vietnam has recorded, describing the country as a bright example of development.

He shared the Vietnamese Deputy PM’s view on the need to increase meetings and exchanges between the two countries as well as their legislatures.

The Italian parliament stands ready to join hands with Vietnam in enhancing cooperation in economy and other fields like health care, tourism and education and training, thus benefiting people of both countries, Roberto Fico said.

He also applauded the contributions of the Vietnamese community in Italy to cultural diversity and prosperity in the host country, and to promoting relations between the two countries.

On this occasion, Dupty PM Binh extended National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s invitation to the Italian Lower House Speaker to visit Vietnam at a suitable time. Roberto Fico accepted the invitation with pleasure.

The Deputy PM is paying a visit to the Vatican from October 18-20.-VNA