|Vietnamese President Võ Văn Thưởng and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella hold talks in Rome. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
ROME — Vietnamese President Võ Văn Thưởng and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella agreed on major orientations to elevate the bilateral strategic partnership during their talks in Rome on Wednesday.
Before the meeting, the Italian President chaired an official welcome ceremony for President Thưởng at the Quirinale Palace.
Thưởng thanked President Mattarella for the respectful and warm welcome, affirming that Việt Nam attaches importance to the relationship with Italy while expressing his wish and determination to work with Italy's top leaders to strengthen relations in various fields.
The Vietnamese leader emphasised that Việt Nam always remembers and is grateful for the valuable support of the Italian people in the struggle for national independence and unification in the past as well as in national construction and development today.
President Mattarella said Italy attaches great importance to Việt Nam's position and role in the Asia-Pacific region.
He expressed his impression of Việt Nam's dynamic economic achievements and agreed to strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership, contributing to the sustainable development of each country and jointly responding to global challenges.
The two leaders informed each other about each country's situation and discussed directions and major measures to promote the strategic partnership. They also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Both leaders expressed their delight at the positive developments of the bilateral relations.
The two countries have maintained delegation exchanges at all levels, especially high levels, across various channels.
Two-way trade turnover in 2022 reached more than US$6.2 billion. Việt Nam is Italy's largest trading partner in ASEAN and Italy is the Việt Nam’s leading trading partner.
Italy ranks 33 out of 143 countries and territories with direct investment in Việt Nam.
Bilateral cooperation in culture, arts, science and technology, education and training have also made significant progress.
Italy's Official Development Assistance, for many years, has supported Việt Nam in socio-economic development and helped the country fulfil the UN Millennium Development Goals.
The two leaders pledged to step up delegation exchanges at all levels, especially in State, Government and National Assembly channels.
The Italian President agreed with Việt Nam's proposal for continuously and effectively implementing the Việt Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement.
He also announced that the Italian Parliament ratified the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement.
Italy also supports the European Commission (EC) to soon remove the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) yellow card for Vietnamese seafood exports in order to promote economic-trade cooperation and contribute to economic recovery, Sergio Mattarella said.
The two presidents agreed to strengthen people-to-people exchanges in education - training, culture - art, tourism as well as partnership between the localities.
President Thưởng proposed the Italian Government continue to pay attention to and create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to integrate into the host society.
The two sides agreed to expand cooperation on security - defence; science and technology while continuing to support each other at multilateral forums, working together to respond to global issues such as climate change and food security.
Also during the talks, President Thưởng and President Sergio Mattarella discussed a number of international and regional issues such as cooperation between Italy and ASEAN, between Việt Nam, the EU and Indo-Pacific region.
The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea), and settling disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
President Thưởng invited Italian President Sergio Mattarella and his daughter to return to visit Việt Nam at an appropriate time. — VNS