Vietnam, Italy enhance economic cooperation hinh anh 1Deputy PM Vu Van Ninh at the event (Source:
HCM City (VNA) - Visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella emphasised the important roles of businesses, associations and universities in materialising reforms and innovations, and strengthening cooperation between Italy and Vietnam.

He addressed the Vietnam-Italy Strategic Dialogue in Ho Chi Minh City on November 8. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, and ministry and university representatives and businesspeople from the two countries attended the event.

President Mattarella said Vietnam has made strong commitments to modernising and liberalising trade, investment, the banking system and the real estate sector.

Vietnam and Italy could improve the efficiency of international integration as part of efforts to deepen their cooperation, he said, advising them to utilise current potential and create new opportunities with foresight.

He noted that similarities in small and medium-sized enterprises’ structure and difficulties caused by globalisation could help connect the two economies.

According to Mattarella, successful Italian businesses will act as spokesmen for Italy’s cooperative models and cooperation commitments in Vietnam.

For his part, Deputy Prime Minister Ninh said that despite global economic setbacks, Italy’s trade with Vietnam rose 15 percent last year, making the country its fourth largest EU trading partner. The countries’ two-way trade hit 4 billion USD in 2014, a 17-percent increase from 2013.

Investments from the European country, however, remain modest. By the end of 2014, it ranked ninth in the EU bloc and 28th among foreign investors in Vietnam, Ninh said.

He noted that the time was ripe for both to elevate their economic connections. He suggested they hold frequent discussions on related measures and facilitating links between small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as those from regions and localities for cooperation in Italy’s strengths of infrastructure, transport, energy, manufacturing and processing.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, businesses should design long-term strategies and prepare for changes that occur when bilateral and multilateral trade agreements take effect.

He said the Vietnamese Government is stepping up the completion of its socialist-oriented economic market institution, economic restructuring and administrative reform to make the business and investment environment more suitable for local and foreign businesspeople.

He pledged that the Vietnamese Government will ensure that the legitimate, legal rights and interests of foreign businesspeople and investors in Vietnam are observed in line with Vietnamese law and international commitments.

Participating businesspeople and agency representatives discussed trade liberalisation and potential partnerships across sectors, focusing on education, science and technology.

The visiting Italian President met with municipal People’s Committee Chairman Le Hoang Quan on November 7. He said Ho Chi Minh City is placed the centre of Italy’s cooperation with Vietnam, citing the European country’s opening of its Consulate General in the southern metropolis.

Along with the affiliation between the city of Torino and HCM City, Italy always shows its full support for collaboration between other localities, he said.

Apart from the economy, Italy is keen to join hands with Vietnam in fields like technology, research and culture, the guest noted.

For his part, Quan said following the two countries’ establishment of strategic partnership in 2013, HCM City inked a cooperation agreement with Torino and will seek cooperation with other Italian localities in the future.

The official noted his hope that after the President’s official visit, relations between Vietnam and Italy will be brought to the next level.

The same day, host and guest attended a performance by Italian and Vietnamese artists to welcome the President’s visit.-VNA