ROME (VNS) — The establishment of a strategic partnership between Italy and Viet Nam has opened up opportunities for the two countries to accelerate bilateral ties, especially in the trade and investment sectors.
The Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Hoang Long said this while delivering a statement during a seminar on Viet Nam-Italy economic ties in Rome on Wednesday.
During the event, Guido Fabiani, a representative from the Lazio region, hailed Viet Nam's potential as an investment destination, saying the Lazio Region plans to launch an investment promotion programme in Viet Nam to encourage its businesses to collaborate with Vietnamese partners.
He added that the Lazio Region, which is a centre for economic and trade co-operation activities in Italy, is willing to do business with Viet Nam.
Attilio Tranquilli, vice chairman of Unindustria – an association for manufactures and enterprises in the Lazio Region – agreed. He mentioned industrial equipment production, garment and the leather industries as promising sectors for future bilateral co-operation.
During his speech at the conference, the Deputy Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda said Italian enterprises can tie-up with their Vietnamese counterparts in many fields, such as technology and machine manufacturing.
Last year, many Italian business delegations had made fact-finding tours of Viet Nam to seek opportunities, with the most recent delegation having arrived here in November.
Attendees at the event agreed that despite positive signals from Italian investors, Italian investment in the country had failed to match the potential of the Southeast Asian country, with its young population, skilled personnel resources and annual GDP growth of 5 to 6 per cent.
The Foreign Investment Agency's statistics showed that as of December 2014, Italy had invested in 57 projects in Viet Nam, with registered capital of more than US$300 million, ranking 29 out of the 101 foreign investors in the country.
The processing and manufacturing sectors attracted the largest share of Italian investment at $269 million or 89.1 per cent of the total registered capital. They were followed by the agro, forestry and fisheries sectors with $13.5 million and the wholesale and retail segments luring $9 million in Italian investments.
In terms of trade value, the two countries are also striving to raise bilateral trade to 5 billion euros (more than $5.89 billion) in 2016 from the current $3.5 billion, vietnamplus.vn reported. — VNS