Vietnam seeks stronger economic links with Italy hinh anh 1The workshop in Italy’s northern city of Bologna (Photo: VNA)

Rome (VNA) – A delegation from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and 20 businesses participated in a series of events in Italy to cement partnerships and help Vietnamese goods enter the European nation’s market.

At a recent workshop in Italy’s northern city of Bologna, MoIT Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa highlighted Vietnam’s political, economic, trade and tourism relations with more than 200 countries and territories, which made the country a relatively good investment environment.

It has inked free trade agreements with 17 of the 20 economies in the G20 and all G7 members, while boasting intensive links with 55 economies with tariffs on more than 90 percent of imported goods from those economies cut to 0 percent.

She also noted the growing cooperation between Vietnam and Italy, especially in trade. Bilateral trade surged from 0.7 billion USD in 2005 to 4.3 billion USD in 2015, rising by some 19 percent annually.

The Vietnam – Italy joint committee on economic cooperation have convened two meetings during which they reached many agreements between their ministries and enterprises. Those agreements create optimal conditions for businesses to seek investment opportunities, Thoa stressed.

Italian Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Benedetto Della Vedova said now is the best time to foster economic ties between the countries, as well as between the EU and the ASEAN.

The EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement allows both sides great opportunities. Vietnam has an open economy, high growth rate, many industrial parks and a young and skilled population, which is ideal for Italian firms to manufacture in and export to Vietnam, he added.

He noted that Italy wants to tighten locality-to-locality cooperation and is willing to share experience in managing and running cooperatives – an important part of Italy’s economy.

While in Italy, Deputy Minister Thoa had a working session with officials of the Emilia Romagna region. She said she hopes the region will share its experience and technologies in agriculture, the food industry and other sectors. It should also expand investment and business activities in Vietnam.

Stefano Bonaccini, President of Emilia Romagna, said more than 600 companies in the region are investing in Vietnam with total capital surpassing 120 million EUR. He believes that ties between the two countries will improve in the near future.

The Vietnamese delegation also held a show of Vietnam’s flagship farm produce and beverages in Bologna, along with a business-to-business forum, gathering many local enterprises, including LegaCoop cooperative federation and Coop Italia and Conad distribution networks, to help Vietnamese goods make inroads into Italy.-VNA