Vietnam’s Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong and Italy’s Deputy Minister for Economic Development Claudio De Vincenti met for talks in Rome on September 19.

During their meeting the two agreed to step up cooperation in investment, economics and trade.

They also reached a consensus on a consultative mechanism and agreed to exchange economic information between the two countries on a regular basis, especially between the two ministries.

One outcome of their talks was the setting up of a joint training centre to transfer technology and share information in science, education and research from Italy to Vietnam as well as other Southeast Asian nations.

Vietnamese goods have been popular with Italian consumers in the past, especially agricultural products.

Both countries will facilitate each other when promoting their products in the other country, with a ‘Vietnamese products week in Italy ’ being held first in 2013 to mark the 40 th anniversary of Vietnamese-Italian diplomatic relations.

Vietnam will also help Italian enterprises to invest more in the country while facilitating Vietnamese businesses to access Italian partners who want to sell machinery and technologies.

As a major European economy, Italy will create the best possible conditions for Vietnam to accelerate the negotiations for a free trade agreement with the EU.

Both also agreed to boost cooperation in power and energy.

Later in the day, the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade held a seminar on business opportunities in Vietnam’s energy sector, with many Italian power companies in attendance.

At the seminar, Vuong introduced Vietnam’s potential and policies towards energy as well as key energy projects in Vietnam, including Dung Quat, Nha Trang and Vung Tau.

He used the occasion to call on Italian businesses to increase their investment in this sector, especially in wind power, renewable energies and the petro-chemical industry.

Vencenti said that as a country experienced in energy generation, Italy pays a lot of attention to green and renewable energies.

Italy will share its experiences and cooperate with Vietnam in areas that the country is strong in, and create the best possible conditions for its businesses, especially small-and medium-sized enterprises operating in energy, to expand operation in Vietnam, he stated.

Apart from their traditional political ties, economic and trade cooperation between Vietnam and Italy has also developed rapidly in the recent past with two-way trade increasing from 758 million USD in 2005 to 2.53 billion USD in 2011.

Last year, Vietnam exported 1.53 billion USD worth of goods to Italy while Italy shipped 999 million USD worth of goods to Vietnam.

Italy, to date, has invested in 44 projects in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of 198 million USD. Its companies include familiar brand names such as Piaggio, Danieli, Datalogic, Bonfiglioli, Van Mele Perfetti and Aristone.-VNA