|HCM City People's Committee and the Consulate General of Italy in HCM City held a ceremony on Thursday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Việt Nam and Italy (March 23, 1973-2023). — VNA/VNS Photo Hứa Chung|
HCM CITY — The People’s Committee of HCM City organised a ceremony on March 23 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Việt Nam and Italy (March 23, 1973-2023).
In his remarks, Chairman of the People’s Committee Phan Văn Mãi highlighted the increasingly close ties between the two countries, saying over the past 50 years, the bilateral relationship had grown actively across spheres, both bilaterally and multilaterally.
The good traditional friendship had also been consolidated and enhanced, the official added.
Notably, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Việt Nam presented Italy with more than 300,000 masks, while Italy donated 2.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Southeast Asian nation.
This vividly demonstrated the intensive and effective strategic partnership and friendship between the two countries, he said.
HCM City, for its part, had actively worked to promote cooperation with Italy, Mãi noted, adding that the relations between HCM City and Italy had reaped achievements in trade, investment, education and training, culture, and tourism.
According to the official, the two-way trade reached US$591 million last year. For investment, as of February 20, 2023, Italy ran 64 projects in the southern metropolis with a total registered capital of $85 million , ranking 26 out of the 117 countries and territories investing there.
However, the results had yet to match the potential of both sides, Mãi pointed out.
Regarding cooperation prospects, he said HCM City served as a gateway for Italian businesses to access the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other markets through free trade agreements to which Việt Nam is a member.
Meanwhile, as a G7 member and with a big market, Italy would be a maritime gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter Europe, he said.
With strong economic recovery and a growing middle class, HCM City would be a promising market for Italian goods, the official added.
Economic cooperation remained a priority in the relations between the two sides, he said, noting that both were working towards high, green, clean, and environmentally friendly technologies.
Mãi considered the compatibility in economic development orientations an important premise for the two sides in raising the bilateral trade to $6 billion in 2022, expressing his firm belief that the target of US$10 billion is within reach.
The official said he hoped that cultural and culinary exchanges between Việt Nam and Italy would be enhanced in the future, contributing to strengthening solidarity between the two peoples.
Italian Consul General in HCM City Enrico Padula highlighted multi-faceted cooperation between Việt Nam and Italy, particularly technological transfer.
Speaking of Việt Nam's efforts in building a green economy, the diplomat said Italy would help the country with technologies and professional skills to carry out relevant ambitious projects.
He also suggested the two countries cooperate in the space industry in service of agriculture, natural disaster prevention, and the mitigation of climate change consequences in rivers and coastal areas.
Cultural collaboration always played an important role in Việt Nam-Italy relations, covering music, theatre, and cinema, he said, stressing the partnership between the universities of the two countries.
Italy was actively engaging in heritage conservation projects in Việt Nam's central region and hoped to further cooperate with the country in cultural heritage and architecture.
According to the Consul General, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, Italy’s offshore patrol ship Francesco Morosini is scheduled to anchor at Nhà Rồng Port in HCM City this May. — VNS