Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed that Vietnam always treasures the friendship and multifaceted partnership with Italy, an important member of the European Union (EU).
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and Italian PM Giuseppe Conte review the guards of honour
He made the statement during talks with his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte in Hanoi on June 5, following the welcome ceremony in the morning the same day.
The Vietnamese PM welcomed the two-day visit by the Italian government leader, which came after the two countries celebrated the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of strategic partnership last year.
Conte, for his part, lauded Vietnam’s dynamic development and rising position on regional and global arena with the successful organisation of important international events.
He affirmed that the Italian government wants to further reinforce its strategic partnership with Vietnam, and considers Vietnam a leading partner in Southeast Asia, evidenced by the selection of Vietnam as the venue for the third High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN – Italy Economic Relations.
The two PMs agreed that Vietnam – Italy ties have thrived in diverse areas since the establishment of bilateral strategic partnership in January 2013.
They vowed to continue facilitating all-level visits and enhance joint work across politics-diplomacy, economy, culture, education – training, science-technology, national defence-security, sustainable development, climate change response, locality-to-locality connectivity while strengthening existing cooperation mechanisms such as strategic dialogues at deputy foreign ministerial and deputy defence ministerial levels, Vietnam – Italy Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation, and carry out reached cooperation agreements.
Welcoming the fact that Vietnam is Italy’s largest trade partner in ASEAN, the PMs promised to make it easier for the two nations’ firms to partner up in fields of Italy’s strength and Vietnam’s demand such as mechanical engineering, infrastructure, textile and garment, footwear, wood processing, support industry, construction materials, oil and gas, renewable energy and food processing.
Both sides expressed determination to raise two-way trade to 6 billion USD by 2020 and 10 billion USD in subsequent years from the current level of nearly 5 billion USD.
PM Phuc welcomed the initiative to hold the third High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN – Italy Economic Relations in Hanoi, describing it as an important opportunity for Italy to foster trade and investment ties with Vietnam and ASEAN member states.
He said with its central position in the network of free trade agreements in Asia-Pacific, Vietnam will serve as a gateway for Italian enterprises to expand to Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific.
Host and guest agreed on the importance of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement. Conte expressed his support for the early signing and ratification of those deals, which, he said, will contribute to promoting bilateral trade and investment, meeting interests of each side.
Discussing regional and global issues of shared concern, the PMs pledged to work closely together and offer mutual support at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, and the ASEAN – EU.
They also highlighted the significance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of maritime and aviation in the East Sea as well as the settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Vietnamese leader accepted an invitation to visit Italy by his Italian counterpart. The specific timeline will be arranged via diplomatic channel.
Italian Prime Minister starts official visit to Vietnam
The two-day visit aims to enhance the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Italy across spheres, ranging from politics, diplomacy, national defence and security to economy, trade, investment, development cooperation, climate change combat, culture, education, science-technology and tourism.
It is also expected to promote the two countries’ coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums.
During the visit, the two sides will exchange views on regional and international issues of shared concern.
Vietnam and Italy set up diplomatic ties on March 23, 1973 and promoted their relationship to a strategic partnership in 2013.
The two countries have maintained bilateral cooperation mechanisms such as the deputy foreign ministerial political consultation, the deputy ministerial defence policy dialogue and the joint commission on economic cooperation. They also support each other at multilateral forums and organisations like the United Nations (UN), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
Two-way trade tripled within the past decade from 1.5 billion USD in 2009 to more than 4.6 billion USD in 2018. Vietnam is the biggest trade partner of Italy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) while Italy is the third largest trade partner of Vietnam in the European Union (EU).
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosts a welcome ceremony for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Hanoi, June 5
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte inspect the guard of honour