Vietnam, Italy Seek to Step up Economic Cooperation

Vietnam is one of the strategic priorities of many corporations in Italy

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At the meeting with credit and insurance group SACE. Photo: Vietnam's embassy in Italy
At the meeting with credit and insurance group SACE. Photo: Vietnam’s embassy in Italy

Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Duong Hai Hung has held working sessions with leaders of credit group CDP, Simest credit institution of CDP, credit and insurance group SACE and the General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria) of Italy as part of the embassy’s economic diplomacy activities of in 2023, VNA reported Sunday.

According to Pasquale Salzano – President of Simest, General Director in charge of European and international affairs of CDP Group, Vietnam is in the strategic priority list of Simest.

Simest has completed the building of a platform connecting Italian small-and medium-sized enterprises with Vietnam, which is expected to be launhed this year, he said.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Duong Hai Hung holds a working session with Barbara Beltrame Giacomello. Photo: VNA
Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Duong Hai Hung holds a working session with Barbara Beltrame Giacomello. Photo: VNA

Vietnam is currently the largest trade partner of Italy among the ASEAN countries, with two-way trade reaching USD 4.25 billion in the first eight months of 2022, up 13.9% year on year. About 6,000 Italian firms are investing in Vietnam.

Particularly, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which eliminates import taxes for 99% of tariff lines, has special meaning to bilateral ties when Italy and Vietnam have opened their economies and relied heavily on exports.

Vietnam is still a gateway for Italy to enter the 600-million-strong ASEAN market

Ale Alessandra Ricci – CEO of SACE also stressed that Vietnam is a target country in this group’s strategic list.

SACE will focus on implementing many activities in Vietnam in the near future, including establishing a temporary office, she said.

SACE has developed a promotion and guarantee strategy so that selected Vietnamese businesses can access preferential loans from banks with no strings attached, she added.

Vietnamese businesses guaranteed by SACE are operating in the fields of food and beverage, energy and mechanical engineering, with a total guaranteed capital of up to EUR 1.3 billion (over USD 1.39 billion).

Additionally, SACE has strengthened market connection activities for businesses, Ricci noted.

Meanwhile, Barbara Beltrame Giacomello, Vice President for International Affairs of Confindustria said that more and more Italian businesses are interested in the Vietnamese market, so Confindustria will consider the Vietnamese market as its focus in Asia.

At the meeting, Ambassador Hung expressed his delight at the priority of Italian firms and organisations for Vietnam in their operational plans in the world, especially in Asia.

The diplomat highlighted the friendship between the two countries, Vietnam’s strong economic growth and its and advantages in the region, as well as the mutual complementarity of the two economies, saying that the embassy supports plans and projects to promote cooperation between Italian businesses with Vietnam.

He took the occasion to share priority areas of economic cooperation that Vietnam want to strengthen with Italy.

The ambassador suggested Italian agencies and organisations further strengthen coordination with the embassy to expand connection between organisations, businesses and localities of Vietnam and Italy, thus contributing to further promoting the bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation.

Hannah Nguyen