President Trần Đại Quang. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI – President Trần Đại Quang’s highly anticipated official visit to Italy takes place at the very moment ties between the two countries are growing strongly across various fields, the Vietnamese ambassador to Italy, Cao Chính Thiện, said.
The ambassador said the bilateral relationship between Việt Nam and Italy is entering its most vibrant period, especially since the two sides established their strategic partnership in 2013.
“The Italian leadership hail President Trần Đại Quang’s visit as a milestone in bilateral ties, showing both countries’ commitment to strengthening their relationship,” he said.
The bilateral relationship has expanded to numerous areas, including co-operation in economy, trade, education and training.
Bilateral trade has doubled to US$4.3 billion between 2013 to 2015. Việt Nam has also become Italy’s biggest ASEAN trade partner, surpassing strong economies like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Việt Nam has become an investment destination for strong Italian brands like Piaggio, Ariston and Bonfiglioli, opening roads for new investment projects from Italian enterprises.
In culture, education and training, the two countries have signed nearly 100 co-operation agreements among universities, colleges and institutes, said the ambassador.
“Italian visitors to Việt Nam have sharply increased recently, as the country is better known among Italians as a country with two protracted resistance wars for national liberation and a destination with breathtaking landscapes, friendly people, rich culture and delicious cuisine,” he said.
During his visit, President Quang plans to hold talks with the host on co-operation potential in all fields from politics, diplomacy, economics, transport, science and technology and co-operation between localities.
Accordingly, the two sides are expected to ink numerous deals, such as an action plan to implement the strategic partnership, a co-operation programme in science and technology, and co-operation in transport.
“That more than 40 Vietnamese enterprises will accompany the President and nearly 100 Italian enterprises are attending a Vietnam-Italy Economics Forum demonstrates a practical co-operation, contributing to specialising bilateral co-operation,” the ambassador said.
“This gives ample opportunity for Vietnamese firms to introduce the country’s potential for trade exchange as well as investment projects in Việt Nam and learn about the host’s strong fields such as high-tech, green technology, and renewable energy.”
Speaking about measures to accelerate economic co-operation between Việt Nam and Italy, Ambassador Thiện said the economic and trade relationship has not reached its potential and expectations.
“It is necessary to determine causes or obstacles to the economic ties, especially geographic distance, mutual misunderstanding and language difference.”
“What needs to be done is to eliminate the geographic barrier, facilitating the travel of businessmen and local people by establishing a direct flight between Việt Nam and Italy."
“Also, it is important to accelerate the teaching and study of the Italian language and culture in Việt Nam and vice versa.”
Currently, five million Vietnamese live and study in the European country. — VNS