Vietnam and Italy wish to turn their economic cooperation into the centrepiece of their strategic partnership, Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son and his Italian counterpart Benedetto Della Vedova said.

This agreement was reached during the second Vietnam-Italy strategic dialogue between deputy foreign ministers in Italy on September 10-12.

During the event, the two sides updated each other on their countries’ socio-economic development and foreign policies.

They hailed the positive achievements made in their bilateral relations over the last year, marked by Vietnam ’s Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung visiting Italy in March 2014 and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s visit to Vietnam three months later.

They spoke highly of the exchange mechanisms and the implementation of cooperation efforts on economics-trade-investment, culture, education-training, and defence-security.

In the dialogue, the Deputy FMs agreed on measures to aid their respective business circles, especially small and medium-sized entreprises, in Italy’s fields of strength, including mechanics, infrastructure development, energy production, and textiles and garments.

They also highlighted their close coordination in organising cultural events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2013, whilst agreeing to further boost cultural and tourism collaboration.

The officials discussed matters of mutual concern and affirmed that both countries would continue to work together closely at regional and international forums.

Benedetto Della Vedova said Italy supported the intensification of Vietnam–European Union relations and considered Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s participation in the 10 th ASEM Summit in Milan an important contribution to the upcoming event’s success in October.

During his stay in Italy, Deputy FM Ho Xuan Son met with Chairman of the Italian Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee Pier Ferdinando Casini, Under Secretary of Defence Domenico Rossi, and former PM and former President of the European Commission Romano Prodi.

On this occasion, Son also attended a workshop on the Asian-Pacific region at the Italian Defence Higher Studies Institute.-VNA