Bridges connecting Vietnam and Italy

Nhan Dan newspaper reporter Ha Quoc Viet, who accompanied President Tran Dai Quang and his entourage during their visit to Italy, recapped the delegation’s activities in the country.

President Tran Dai Quang (left) and Italian President Sergio Mattarella (Credit: VOV)
President Tran Dai Quang (left) and Italian President Sergio Mattarella (Credit: VOV)

Rome, the nearly 3,000 year-old capital of Italy, is an ancient city home to beautiful natural landscapes and famous architectures. Vietnamese entrepreneur Tran Khanh Du, who lives in Rome, has been well-known for his great contributions to creating the city’s ancient beauty through bringing black stones from Vietnam’s Binh Dinh province to restore numerous works there. He confirmed that many works in Rome were made with stone and their restoration processes were carefully assessed by experts under strict requirements. After research was conducted, Du realised black stones from Binh Dinh province were capable of meeting requirements. Currently, he transports around 200 containers of stones to Rome for the restoration of architectural works in Rome.

Du is only one of numerous Vietnamese and Italian entrepreneurs who are contributing to building bridges for the two countries’ relations that have strongly developed, particularly since the two countries signed a joint declaration on establishing a strategic partnership in January 2013.

Italy is one of the largest European trade partners of Vietnam, with total two-way trade turnover increasing from US$3.4 billion in 2013 to US$4.3 billion in 2015. In contrast, Vietnam is the largest trade partner of Italy in ASEAN region. Many of Italy’s products, such as sanitary wares, water heaters and leather, have been popular in Vietnam. Italy ranked 31st among 112 countries and territories investing in Vietnam last year, with 77 projects worth US$360 million, mainly in processing, manufacturing, leather shoes, construction, sanitary ware, water heaters and steel fabrication industries.

The Italian Government has listed Vietnam among 10 emerging markets prioritised for trade and investment ties. Multi-faceted co-operation in culture, education-training, science and technology has positively developed with a variety of cultural exchange activities and co-operation projects on scientific research and high-quality personnel training.

On the basis of the thriving relationship, the talks and meetings between Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, President of the Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini and President of the Senate Pietro Grasso, took place in a warm and friendly atmosphere as well as in the spirit of mutual trust and understanding. Vietnamese and Italian leaders agreed that the two countries’ relations are positively developing in all fields and affirmed their determination to promoting the strategic partnership between the two countries deeper and more effectively. The two sides also agreed to raise the bilateral trade turnover to US$6 billion for the 2017-2018 period, increase investment from Italian companies into Vietnam, and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural and aquatic products to access the Italian market.

President Tran Dai Quang and Italian leaders said that the two countries have great potential for co-operation, particularly in the economy. With a population of 93 million, Vietnam is a large-scale market with fast and sustainable growing purchasing power as well as close connection with the ASEAN market. Many Italian businesses have effectively invested and done businesses in Vietnam, contributing to attracting a large number of enterprises from both two countries to participate in the Vietnam-Italy Economic Forum.

At the event, Vietnamese State leader emphasised that Vietnam would fully implement its commitments in the ASEAN Community and the WTO; join new generation free trade agreements, including Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA); and deeply and widely promote its international integration.

Vietnam will consistently update the growth model; improve growth quality, productivity and competitiveness of the economy; and rapidly, sustainably and comprehensively develop its economy, society and the environment. The country will also prioritise the perfection of institutions, improvement of the business and investment environment, enhancement of scientific and technological application, improvement of the human resources’ quality and effective involvement of global production networks and value chains.

The Vietnamese President noted that Vietnam always wants to push the strategic partnership with Italy to a new height, being commensurate with the potential, strengths and demands of the two countries. He expressed his hope that the Vietnam-Italy partnership would become one of role models for the Asia – Europe and ASEAN-EU co-operation. Vietnam always warmly welcomes Italian enterprises to invest, added President Quang. Listening to reliable messages as well as receiving open-minded views from the Vietnamese State leader, at the Forum, many Italian entrepreneurs expressed their desire to seek opportunities for investment co-operation with Vietnam.

With a population of 61 million, Italy attracts over 60 million tourists each year and has a strong tourism industry. Currently, there are around 5,000 Vietnamese people who have gained permanent residence, including numerous residents working in the travel industry. Talking with staff of the Vietnamese Embassy and overseas Vietnamese (OV) in Italy, President Tran Dai Quang expressed his hope that they would continue to uphold the solidarity tradition to help together in daily life and strictly observe laws in their host country as well as preserve and promote Vietnamese traditional cultural identities. He asked the OV community in Italy to make greater contributions to promoting the land, people and culture of Vietnam to international friends and bring the two nations ever closer.

Vietnamese expatriates in Italy as well as the Italian entrepreneurs and people were extremely excited when Vietnamese President Quang informed that the two countries’ leaders agreed to soon open a direct route between the two countries. Co-operation in all fields has contributed to tightening the Vietnam-Italy Strategic Partnership, making Asian and European continents closer.