Having enjoyed the sound friendship and remarkable developments in their bilateral relations, Vietnam and Italy agreed to establish a strategic partnership to further intensify their cooperation in the existing areas and expand it to new fields.

Following is the full text of a Joint Statement featuring the two countries’ establishment of their strategic partnership:

“On the basis of the sound friendship and remarkable development of bilateral relations between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Italian Republic; Willing to further intensify cooperation in the existing areas and expand it to new fields; Given the crucial symbolic significance of the commemoration of the 40 th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2013; During the State visit to Italy by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, H.E. Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, on January 20 – 22, 2013;

The two sides agree to elevate their bilateral relations by establishing a Strategic Partnership based on this Joint Statement.
The two sides agree to promote bilateral relations within the overall framework of the comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and the EU, on the basis of the Vietnam - EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement officially signed on June 27, 2012.
The Strategic Partnership will create the framework for the development of comprehensive and long-lasting bilateral relations, particularly a broadened and deepened cooperation in the following key areas:

1. Political – diplomatic cooperation
The two sides agree to continue increasing the exchange of high-level delegations, including both official visits as well as contacts on the sidelines of international and regional fora.
The two sides recognise the importance of the existing relations between the Communist Party of Vietnam and its agencies and their Italian political, governmental, research and academic interlocutors.
The two sides welcome the strengthening of cooperation between the two Parliaments, including mutual visits and exchanges in multilateral fora. Such cooperation may envisage in particular capacity building initiatives on law-making process.
The two sides agree to promote cooperation between regions and local entities of the two countries, particularly in the fields of economy, trade and investment, education and training, culture and tourism.
The two sides highly value the outcomes of the political consultation at a Deputy Foreign Minister level and agree to establish a Strategic Dialogue Mechanism co-chaired by the Deputy Foreign Ministers of Vietnam and Italy . The Strategic Dialogue Mechanism will be held annually on rotational basis in Hanoi and Rome to discuss bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual concern, with the participation, whereas requested, of representatives of other Ministries and agencies.

2. Global and regional issues
The two sides are committed in strengthening position sharing, cooperation and mutual support in international and regional fora, especially within the UN, WTO, ASEM, ASEAN, EU, and on international issues of mutual concern such as the UN reform, sustainable development, environment and climate change, energy security, food security, water resources management, epidemics control, Millennium Development Goals, disarmament and non proliferation, fight against organised crime, terrorism and piracy at sea, peaceful settlement of international disputes.
The two sides strongly support the promotion of relations and cooperation between ASEAN and EU on politics and security and economic and social development. Italy supports ASEAN’s roadmap for the establishment of the ASEAN Community, also aimed at enhancing the active role of ASEAN in the maintenance of stability and peace in the Asia–Pacific region. Vietnam pledges to support Italy to enhance its role and promote its relations with ASEAN and other regional fora in Southeast Asia .

3. Economic relations
Italy will assist Vietnam in enhancing economic and trade relations with the EU and will support Vietnam in completing the institution of market economy, in view of the EU’s recognition of Vietnam ’s market economy status. The two sides express their support for a swift conclusion of the negotiations for a balanced and mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the EU.
Vietnam and Italy realise the vast potentials for expanding bilateral economic relations, including trade and investment, and agree to promote these relations on the basis of long-lasting stability and mutual benefits. Italy is prepared to contribute to the economic development of Vietnam through:
Sharing technologies and experiences of Italian enterprises active in the fields of infrastructure (roads, railways, urban transportation, ports and airports), mechanical engineering industry (particularly for textile and garment, leather footwear, wooden furniture, food and foodstuff processing and preservation) and processing industry; Promoting economic cooperation, also through specific Public–Private Partnerships and initiatives, in such areas as infrastructure, energy, metallurgy, telecommunications, tourism, environment, healthcare, fashion.
Vietnam welcomes and will create favorable conditions for Italy ’s investment projects in oil and gas extraction.
The two sides encourage trade and investment exchanges between the two countries. Italy and Vietnam agree to increase opportunities for contacts between SME’s of the two countries and between the respective business confederations, particularly with regard to textile and garment, footwear, wooden furniture and agricultural products. At the same time, Vietnam welcomes Italian firms producing consumer goods to open flagship offices in Vietnam . Italy confirms its availability to support Italian enterprises willing to invest and do business in Vietnam .
Supporting businesses of the two countries to increase connectivity and establish partnerships will enable small and medium-sized enterprises of Italy to share specific technology and experience in high-quality production with Vietnamese partners, thus contributing to the consolidation of the production industry of Vietnam , also with the prospect to reach out to ASEAN and East Asian markets.
To facilitate the activities of the two sides’ businesses in each country, as well as to monitor and promote bilateral trade and investment, the two sides agree to establish a Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation, coordinated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam and the Ministry of Economic Development of Italy and convened yearly on rotational basis.

4. Development assistance
The two sides continue to attach importance to Italian development assistance to Vietnam , based on the bilateral Agreement concluded in 2009. They agree to conclude a new protocol for the development assistance to Vietnam for 2013–2015 through grants and, mostly, concessional credits, in order to support the improvement of Vietnam’s economic and social infrastructures, focusing on water and environment, healthcare, human resources development and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The two sides will consider gradual shifting from traditional cooperation areas towards new ones, such as climate change response, scientific training and research and green/clean energy.
Taking into account the positive results of the project promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with UNIDO aimed at supporting Vietnamese industrial clusters and SME’s, and noting the vast potential of cooperation in such field, the two sides agree to identify a flagship cooperation project for human resources training namely in the private sector, using Italian funds, aimed at improving capacity of Vietnamese companies to organise the production and distribution of goods, in accordance with the Vietnamese laws on labor and environmental safety.
Specific contractual arrangements in the framework of the new Development Cooperation Protocol for 2013-2015 shall be defined in accordance with the respective internal procedures of each country and be part of ad hoc agreements, particularly when they entail financial costs.

5. Cultural, education and training, scientific and technological cooperation
On the occasion of the 40 th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Italy and Vietnam, the two sides agree to hold commemorative activities within the framework of the “Vietnam Year in Italy” and the “Italy Year in Vietnam” in 2013 and pledge to encourage suitable initiatives to be implemented in each country. The two sides attach importance to 40 years friendship between the people of Italy and Vietnam and agree to create favorable conditions for the organisation of exchanges and promotion activities in order to deepen mutual understanding between the people of the two countries.
The two sides encourage cooperation in the areas of culture, arts, sports, tourism, information and communication in each country, including exhibitions, cultural and arts performances, tourism fairs and sports exchanges.
The two sides are aware of the importance of “Casa Italia” (Italy House) in Hanoi , given its significance in promoting Italian culture and language as well as “Made in Italy ” products in Vietnam . They are confident that “Casa Italia” will represent a useful platform to present a comprehensive understanding of Italian culture and economy, for the mutual benefit of the two sides.
Vietnam highly appreciates Italy ’s experience in preserving archaeological heritage as well as in urban development. The two sides are committed in facilitating exchanges between institutional organisations and experts in order to preserve archaeological heritage and serve the urban development of Vietnam .
The two sides agree to examine relevant proposals by the Government of Vietnam in order to establish the Vietnam–Italy Centre of Excellence for Training and Research (CEFIVI) located in Vietnam . Such a Centre may become a hub for key training and scientific research cooperation projects between the two countries, with the support and assistance of the Governments and relevant agencies/organisations of the two countries and through Italian funding subject to the last paragraph of point 4 above. CEFIVI will meet the needs of enterprises/organisations of the two countries in transferring and promoting Italian science and technology to the Vietnamese market.
The two sides highly value the positive experience of the cooperation and exchanges of students and scholars between universities of Vietnam and Italy and pledge to further intensify such activities. They agree to establish a Meeting Mechanism between universities in Vietnam and Italy convened twice a year on rotational basis, chaired by the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam and the Ministry of Education, University and Research of Italy.
The two sides welcome the signing of the Education Cooperation Programme for 2013–2016 and the early signing of the Cultural Cooperation Programme for 2013–2016 between Vietnam and Italy .
Taking note of the importance of science and technology and of the outcomes of the Joint Commission on Science and Technology Cooperation between Vietnam and Italy , the two sides agree to renew the Cooperation Program in this field for 2013–2015.

6. Defense and Security
On the basis of the sound cooperation in the sector of defense, the two sides affirm the aspiration to further enhance cooperation in this area, as mentioned in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two Ministries of Defense, signed on November 24 2000. They agree to expand and update cooperation contents by signing a new MoU on cooperation in defense. The signing of the latter will consolidate and further improve the legal framework for the promotion of bilateral relations in areas of mutual interest. Also, through the MoU the two sides agree to promote the establishment of the Vietnam and Italy Defense and Security Dialogue Mechanism at appropriate level.
The two sides agree that in order to further deepen mutual understanding and expand cooperation in the defense and security area, they should enhance exchange, discussion and sharing of information between delegations at various levels and between the strategic defense research agencies of the two countries. They also commit to cooperate in the defense industry field.
The two sides recognise the importance of international cooperation in security matters to prevent and combat trans-national organised crime and terrorism. The two sides are committed, also on the basis of specific agreements, in launching police cooperation through exchange of information and best practices, particularly with regard to the prevention of trans-national organised crime, trafficking of addictive and psychotropic substances and their precursors, human trafficking, illegal migration and terrorism.

7. Final clause
On the basis of this Joint Statement, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries will develop a two-year Joint Action Plan.
This Joint Statement can be revised on the basis of written consent. It will be effective from the date of its signature by the two sides and will be valid until it is annulled by one of the two sides through written notification with six months advance.
Signed in Rome on 21 January 2013, in duplicate in Vietnamese, Italian and English languages; all texts being equally authentic.”/.VNA