Business players from Vietnam and Italy were brought together at a forum in Ho Chi Minh City on October 15 to explore cooperation opportunities in trade and the manufacturing industry.

Deputy Chairman of the Italian Chambers of Commerce cum President of the northern Emilia-Romagna region Carlo Alberto Roncati boasted technology, machine industry and packing as the region’s strengths.

These sectors have competitive advantage in the global market and are fertile lands for small-and-medium-sized businesses to develop steadily, Roncati said.

Italian enterprises eye Vietnam as an attractive market among the 10 ASEAN member countries, which boasts great potential with tariff incentives, he added.

Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City now contributes over 20 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and around 30 percent of exports, said Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Manh Ha.

The city is a dynamic economic hub that is always willing to cooperate with international entrepreneurs, especially in the support industry, manufacturing and automobiles, Ha added.

He said he hopes the forum will help both sides explore a number of opportunities to reach bilateral cooperation in the aforementioned fields and become sustainable partners.

Establishing a strategic partnership in 2013, Vietnam and Italy have enjoyed sound bilateral cooperation in socio-economics, investment, trade and science-technology over the past years.

Their two-way trade enjoys an annual growth of 2 percent, hitting 2.3 billion USD in the first eight months of this year.

Italy ranks 9th among EU nations investing in Vietnam , with 50 projects worth 276 million USD.-VNA