Việt Nam and Italy strategic partners in challenging times

June 01, 2020 - 22:03

Today, Italy celebrates the 74th anniversary of the foundation of the Italian Republic. Ambassador Antonio Alessandro writes about Việt Nam’s solidarity during COVID-19 and the width of bilateral relations.  

President Sergio Mattarella after laying a laurel wreath on the Altare della Patria,  Rome, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of liberation on April 25. – Photo courtesy of the embassy

Việt Nam and Italy strategic partners in challenging times Today, Italy celebrates the 74th anniversary of the foundation of the Italian Republic. Ambassador Antonio Alessandro writes about Việt Nam’s solidarity during COVID-19 and the width of bilateral relations.

On June 2, Italy commemorates the birth of the Italian Republic, which was proclaimed on this day in 1946 as the result of a referendum in which for the first time women also voted.

Our National Day usually comes with joyful celebrations, both in Italy and abroad.

Last year’s reception at the Hà Nội Museum was very special, as it was attended by the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. This year, as a sign of respect for the thousands of victims of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy and in the world, our commemoration will be different.

Italy is one of the countries that has suffered the most. Our people struggled hard to fight the pandemic, living in lockdown for two months. The social and economic impact has been heavy. Many doctors and nurses sacrificed their own lives, as Doctor Carlo Urbani sacrificed his during the 2003 SARS pandemic in Việt Nam.

But even in the darkest moments, we have never lost those unique traits which make the world love our country.

Our humour, as we will never forget the colorful jokes on the social networks downplaying our sadness or the chants on the balconies bringing happiness to those locked at home.  

Our taste for beauty, with villages, piazzas, museums being “rediscovered’” on the internet (some of them can be toured online on our embassy’s social networks).

Our entrepreneurial skills, which helped the Italian economy resist and perform successfully. This is particularly true for Việt Nam, where more than 100 Italian companies contribute to its development and reached a commercial exchange in 2019 worth US$5 billion.

Our solidarity and co-operation, which are the most important tools to defeat the virus, as Việt Nam’s exceptional response proves very well. In this respect, I wish to express my most sincere gratitude to the Vietnamese Government and people for the generous donations of face masks and medical materials.   

Italy and Việt Nam are bound by true friendship. We enjoy very productive relations in all fields: politics, trade, culture, science, sports, fashion, design and archaeology. In 2013 our partnership became “strategic”.

The pandemic has severely limited contact between our people, but I am truly confident that by working together we will soon overcome this difficult moment and fully benefit from our rich bilateral relationship. We look ahead with trust and optimism.  

A few days ago, Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh and the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio agreed to further strengthen the cooperation between our countries. The Vietnamese presidency of ASEAN, Việt Nam’s non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, and the upcoming Italian presidency of the G-20 and co-presidency of the COP26 on climate change will offer us many chances to work together. Further opportunities will arise from the Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Protection Agreement between Việt Nam and the European Union.

This year’s National Day is dedicated in particular to the Italian community in Việt Nam, to our Vietnamese friends in Italy - many of them students - and to those who have been forced by the pandemic to renounce their plans to work, study or travel in both countries.

The Italian institutions in Việt Nam, including the Consulate General in HCM City, the Agency for Development Cooperation, the Italian Trade Agency, the Italian Chamber of Commerce, Uni-Italia and Casa Italia, join together in inviting our Vietnamese friends to celebrate Italian National Day. Việt Nam News readers will find on the embassy’s social networks multimedia content designed for this special occasion.

Viva l’Italia, Việt Nam muôn năm! Long live the friendship between our two countries!  VNS