Vietnam-Italy economic connections remain under par: officials hinh anh 1Vietnamese Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa (L) and Italian Vice Minister Carlo Calenda (Photo: VNA)

Investment and trade between Vietnam and Italy haven’t been on par with their potential and demand though they recorded substantial growth in the fields, the countries’ Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation admitted at its second meeting in Rome on October 16.

The event, co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa and Italian Vice Minister for Economic Development Carlo Calenda, reflected both sides’ effort to boost bilateral economic and trade collaboration so as to concretise the nations’ strategic partnership, which was established in 2013.

At the meeting, the two sides noted two-way trade hit a record of 4.08 billion USD in 2014, a year-on-year hike of 17 percent. The figure for the first eight months of this year climbed 6 percent from a year before. Meanwhile, Italy is the 18th biggest importer of Vietnamese goods.

The officials discussed measures enhancing economic and trade links, especially in infrastructure, renewable energy, mining, aquaculture, textile and footwear industries, communications, and science-technology.

As part of the meeting, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency and the Italian association of small- and medium-sized enterprises UNIMPRESA signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation.

Both sides agreed that the joint committee’s third meeting will take place in Vietnam in 2016 on the occasion of the second Vietnam Food Expo in Ho Chi Minh City.

Deputy Minister Thoa told Vietnam News Agency correspondents that the joint committee has actively contributed to bilateral economic and trade affiliation by reviewing cooperation projects and tackling business hindrances.

She said she hopes agreements reached at the second meeting will facilitate Vietnam and Italy’s endeavours to raise their trade to 5 billion USD next year.

Also on October 16, the officials attended the opening of a Rome forum on business and economic cooperation opportunities for Vietnam and Italy to be brought about by the Vietnam – European Union Free Trade Agreement.-VNA