President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Nguyen Thien Nhan met with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni on July 1 during his visit to Italy.

At the meeting, the two sides spoke highly of the traditional relationship between Vietnam and Italy, which has been nurtured by the two countries’ leaders and people over decades.

Both sides expressed delight at the progress made in trade and investment between the two nations, though noted the relations are still below their potential.

They agreed to work closely together to boost two-way trade and Italian investment in Vietnam.

Gentiloni affirmed his support for an early conclusion of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement as well as recognition of Vietnam as a market economy.

The FM appreciated Vietnam’s joining of the Milan Expo with a pavilion made of bamboo, one of the fair’s highlights.

Italy has developed strong cooperative systems in agriculture, construction, finance and services suitable for sharing experience and expertise with Vietnam, he added.

He also expressed willingness to assist Vietnam in developing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).-VNA