New Cooperation Opportunities Between Vietnam, Italy

2023 is a year of special significance in the relationship between Vietnam and Italy as the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

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New Cooperation Opportunities between Vietnam, Italy
Chairman of the munipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai speaks at the event. Photo: HUFO

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City on March 23 held a ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Italy (March 23, 1973 – 2023).

Attending the ceremony were Phan Van Mai, member of the Party Central Committee, Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee; Enrico Padula, Consul General of Italy in HCM City and representatives of departments and agencies in HCM City.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mai said that this historic event marked the traditional diplomatic, friendship and cooperation relationship between the two countries that has spanned half a century. The diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Italy has always been nurtured and developed sustainably at all levels by the State, Government and people of the two countries.

In particular, he also emphasized that Vietnam is Italy’s largest trading partner in ASEAN and Italy is the 4th EU partner of Vietnam in the fields of culture, education, science and technology, tourism, people-to-people exchanges and many other fields.

Especially During Covid-19, the Vietnamese Government presented Italy with more than 300,000 masks, while Italy provided Vietnam with over 2.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. These are vivid and emotional proofs of the deep and peaceful strategic partnership between the two countries and inculcate the friendship between the two peoples.

New Cooperation Opportunities between Vietnam, Italy
Delegates to the event. Photo: HUFO

According to the Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, on the basis of good bilateral cooperation, HCM City has always been a locality actively promoting cooperation relations with Italy and achieved many achievements in the fields of trade. investment, education – training, culture and tourism. In 2022, the total trade turnover is USD 591 million, and in terms of investment as of March 2023, Italy has 64 investment projects in the city with a total capital of over USD 85 million, ranking 26/117 countries and investment territories in HCM City.

In addition, he also highly appreciated the active role of the Consulate General of Italy in organizing cultural events and connecting businesses between the two countries. Prominent are the Heritage Conservation and Economic Development event in HCM City and the theme “Regeneration, Design and New Technologies for a Sustainable Future” in Hanoi and HCM City.

He also raised some comments on the prospects of cooperation between HCM City and Italy in the near future.

First, the potential for development in the HCM City – Italy relationship is still very large and will be actively implemented in the near future. The southern hub will also open the door for Italian businesses to access the ASEAN and other markets through the following channels: free trade agreement to which Vietnam is a member. In particular, Italy is a member of the G7 group, which is also a large market and an important sea gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter Europe.

Second, HCM City will prioritize cooperation with Italy in the economic field towards high technology, green, clean and environmentally friendly. This is also the economic development orientation of the city. He also said that the two-way trade turnover in 2022 has reached over USD 6 billion, so in the near future, HCM City will achieve the goal of two-way trade turnover of over USD 10 billion.

Cultural exchanges, art, sports, and Italian cuisine are always loved by Vietnamese people in general and HCM City in particular. He believes that cultural and culinary exchange events between Vietnam and Italy will be further enhanced in the near future.

Mai also believes that, with the determination of leaders at all levels and the joint efforts of the two peoples, the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Italy in general, the cooperation relationship between HCM City and Italian localities said. own, will continue to grow.

New Cooperation Opportunities between Vietnam, Italy
Enrico Padula, Consul General of Italy in HCM City. Photo: HUFO

Also at the ceremony, Consul General Enrico Padula also said that between Vietnam and Italy has developed in terms of cooperation and society, especially some regions of Italy have built a solid foundation. The relationship continues to expand and develop in the fields of economy – trade and technology exchange.

Besides, cooperation in the field of culture always plays an important role between Italy and Vietnam. He also expressed “Italy has also been active in heritage conservation projects in central Vietnam and hopes to cooperate with Vietnam on cultural and architectural heritage. With skills and experience in heritage management, Italy is ready to support Vietnam in this area.”

According to him, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, Italy’s offshore patrol ship Francesco Morosini is scheduled to anchor at Nha Rong Port in HCM City this May.

Regarding activities to mark the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, Italian Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Maria Tripodi told Vietnam News Agency that the opening of the series will be held on March 31 with a Vietnamese fashion show in Rome, one day after the political consultation between Tripodi and her Vietnamese counterpart Le Thi Thu Hang.

A ceremony to celebrate the anniversary and the 10-year strategic partnership between the two countries will also be held during Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong’s visit. A closing ceremony of the Italy-Vietnam Year 2023 is scheduled for the end of the year, she said, adding that a number of cultural and art activities will also be organized.

Hannah Nguyen