Viet Nam News
On the occasion of Italy’s National Day today (June 2), Việt Nam News presents an article written by Italy’s Ambassador to Việt Nam, Cecilia Piccioni.
Today the Italian Republic turns 70.
Seventy years is an important milestone and also very meaningful in Vietnamese culture and a very special anniversary for us Italians all over the world.
The 2th of June, 1946 marked a turning point in the history of my country and in the lives of all Italians. On that day, 25 million Italians voted in a referendum to decide the future of our Nation. On that day, our Republic was born and our democratic foundations were established on the pillars of freedom and democracy.
On that day, Italy started its journey towards development, industrialisation and international integration. It has been an exciting, if not always easy, journey that led Italy, along with five other European partners, to begin the building process of the European Union. As one of the six EU founding members, Italy has contributed to shaping it and its core values: human rights’ protection, the fight against inequality, economic growth, attentive management of migration flows and sustainable development.
But Italy’s involvement extends beyond the EU to the whole world. For instance, Italy is currently the 7th largest financial contributor to the UN’s budget and the Western nation with the most men and women deployed in peacekeeping missions.
Moreover, the journey that started on the 2nd of June 70 years ago, led to Italy being part of both the G7 and the G20.
Next year Italy will hold the Presidency of the G7. This will serve as the perfect opportunity to address, through a result-oriented approach, key global issues that are at the top of our agenda, such as climate change, environmental protection, cultural diversity preservation and promotion, food safety, nutrition, rule of law, human rights, and security & stability.
In these endeavors Italy relies on the cooperation of strategic partners like Việt Nam, so we are thrilled that Italian-Vietnamese relations have reached such a high level lately.
Two-way trade is approaching the year’s goal of US$5 billion set by our Prime Ministers in 2014 and will continue to increase thanks to the opportunities the EUVFTA will open up.
On the investment front, although there is still untapped potential we intend to take advantage of, it is important to highlight how well our entrepreneurship profiles complement each other due to the prominence of SMEs.
However, our presence goes beyond our similarity in entrepreneurship. Italy is very involved with new technology, production models, sustainability, partnership with universities, CSR and gender equality in Việt Nam to help further the country’s goal to become an industrialised nation by 2020. Our priorities include focusing on environment, renewable energies and food security (Italy will participate as a guest of honor at the Vietnam Food Expo in November in HCM City).
Our strategic partnership agreement has paved the way to achieving outstanding results in many areas: political, commercial, infrastructural, development cooperation scientific and cultural.
Traditions and culture are key in people-to-people relations. Knowing each other through culture allows us to build bridges and break down walls. Preserving traditions, culture and their diversity is at the core of our agenda and reflects the paramount attention Italy pays to protecting these values and to enhancing dialogue and acceptance.
Việt Nam shares these views and is committed to the preservation and promotion of its unique heritage, making it one of our best partners. In this vein, and on a very personal note, I wish to underscore the remarkable job Việt Nam is doing in the preservation of one of the most iconic UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Sơn Ðoòng Cave.
Recently, thanks to the Vietnamese authorities, I had the opportunity to explore it along with a few other fellow Ambassadors and to appreciate first hand the huge effort Việt Nam is making to strike a difficult balance between the development of an area that still shows some gaps to be filled, while safeguarding Mother Nature’s extraordinary masterpiece. Việt Nam is proving itself as a responsible global actor that understands Sơn Ðoòng’s role as a key World Heritage site and protects it for our future generations.
Italy started on its journey 70 years ago and Việt Nam has been an extraordinary partner. We have been working together for the last 43 years and the extraordinary results of our partnership speak for themselves. Building on these results, our countries could address together the numerous global challenges we are facing through a pragmatic approach achieving the ambitious goals we have set in order to benefit our peoples. — VNS