Deepening Vietnam-Italy strategic partnership
Friday, 2015-11-06 05:43:56
NDO - President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella commenced his State visit to Vietnam on November 6 at the invitation of Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang. The visit is an important political event, marking a milestone in the bilateral relations and contributing to deepening the Vietnam-Italy strategic partnership.
The Vietnamese people are delighted at Italy's achievements over the past. Italy's economy, which ranks ninth in the world, has an economic development model similar to the model employed by Vietnam, which includes a system of dynamic and effective small and medium-sized enterprises, contributing nearly 70% to the GDP.
Italy's investment abroad was lower than that of the European Union (EU) but has risen strongly since 2000. Since mid-2011, Italy has been heavily influenced by the public debt crisis and Italy's trade policy is currently fixed with the EU's general economic policy.
It is pleased to see that the Vietnam-Italy relations have achieved remarkable strides since the establishment of the diplomatic ties in 1973, particularly after the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2013.
Vietnam and Italy have carried out regular exchanges of high-ranking delegations, creating a driving force for the development of the strategic partnership with visits made to Italy by Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in January 2013 and by Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung in March 2014 and visits made to Vietnam by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in June 2014 and by former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in January 2015.
Italy was the first Western European country to actively support the strengthening of co-operation between Vietnam and the EU as well as the normalisation of relations between Vietnam and international financial, commercial and monetary organisations in early 1990.
Italian senior leaders affirmed their determination to promote multifaceted co-operation with Vietnam, giving priority to developing relations with Vietnam among ASEAN countries and considering Vietnam as an attractive destination for Italian enterprises until 2020.
Economic, commercial and investment relations between the two countries have seen new development steps. Italy was one of the first Western European countries to resume and develop co-operation with Vietnam after the 1979-1989 period. Two-way trade revenue has increased steadily in recent years with a bilateral trade revenue of US$4.08 billion in 2014. By August 2015, Italy ranked 30th out of 100 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 66 projects worth over US$391 million.
Italy began to provide official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam in the 1980s and has shifted the assistance to vocational training programmes, water resources management and small and medium-sized enterprises.
The two sides have also signed many co-operation agreements in the areas of economics, culture, tourism, aviation, crime prevention, encouragement and protection of investment among others.
In the past, the two countries also witnessed positive developments in culture, education and training co-operation. Each year, the Italian Embassy provides Vietnam with scholarships to study Italian and Master degree courses and opens Italian learning courses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Nearly 4,000 Vietnamese people are living permanently in Italy, acting as a bridge strengthening the bilateral relations.
The State visit to Vietnam by President Sergio Mattarella aims to confirm the determination of leaders and the peoples of both countries to strengthen the strategic partnership in the areas of politics, diplomacy, economics, defence-security, culture, education-training, science-technology, and tourism and to create favourable conditions for Italian enterprises to invest in Vietnam, promoting the strengths and potentials for co-operation between the two countries.