Vietnam, Italy eye strong economic ties

Economic cooperation between Vietnam and Italy would develop further in the time ahead through new legal frameworks such as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
November 28, 2020 | 09:15
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The online forum on Vietnam-Italy economic cooperation. Photo: VNA

Economic cooperation between Vietnam and Italy would develop further in the time ahead through new legal frameworks such as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), heard a recent online forum.

The forum, held by the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy, saw the attendance of member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Tullio Patassini, who is also Vice President of the Italy-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group, and representatives from the General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria), the Italy-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), and around 70 enterprises of both countries.

In her opening remarks, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Thi Bich Hue said that the Vietnam-Italy strategic partnership has been nurtured in numerous fields, especially in economics, as Vietnam is Italy’s largest trade partner in ASEAN and the latter is the former’s fourth biggest trader in the EU.

She said the two above-said agreements were ratified by the Vietnamese National Assembly and are waiting for the ratification of EU member parliaments.

In his remarks, Patassini spoke highly of the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to create an open cooperation environment for foreign enterprises, including those from Italy.

Italy holds great potential to intensify cooperation with Vietnam in mechanics, electronics, food, shipbuilding and cultural exchange, he stated.

He affirmed that the EVFTA is an important foundation to further boost collaboration between European and Vietnamese enterprises as well as Italian and Vietnamese ones, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Head of the FIA Do Nhat Hoang said that foreign investment poured into Vietnam has increased in recent years, with a total capital of 382.9 billion USD from 139 nations and territories. With 115 projects, Italy is currently ranked 46th.

The figures are quite modest compared to cooperation potential between the two countries, added Hoang.

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Italian businesses are interested in investing in Vietnam textiles and footwear sectors. Photo: VNA

In June, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation signed an agreement to establish a new Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation, according to VOV.

The commission is expected to maintain the effective and practical cooperation mechanisms created by both sides in recent years, contributing to expanding two-way trade by 15-20 percent each year.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, two-way trade between Vietnam and Italy topped US$5.3 billion in 2019, up 13.71 percent year-on-year. Exports neared US$3.44 billion, up 18.46 percent, while imports rose 5.95 percent to US$1.87 billion.

Last year, during their talks in Hanoi in June, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte also agreed to raise the bilateral trade value to US$6 billion by 2020 and US$10 billion in the years to come, according to VGP News./.

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