|Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong receives Italian PM Matteo Renzi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Tri Dung
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam and Italy have agreed to work together to lift bilateral trade to US$5 billion by 2016, from the current figure of $3.5 billion.
The agreement was made during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's talks in Ha Noi yesterday with his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi, who is here on a two-day official visit.
To meet the target, both countries will seek ways to strengthen links between their business communities, while enhancing partnerships across all fields, including apparel and footwear manufacturing, support industries, construction, energy and food processing.
Building on the successful outcomes of past cooperation projects, both sides said they would continue working to devise and ratify a development programme for the upcoming period.
The two sides also agreed to strengthen links in culture, education and training, science and technology, while speeding up the establishment of cooperation between universities in both countries. The establishment of a Viet Nam-Italy excellence research centre was also agreed upon.
The two PMs also agreed to maintain and promote consultations among ministries and sectors, including the deputy ministerial strategic dialogue. They also concurred on setting up an inter-governmental committee on economic cooperation, with the first meeting slated to take place this November.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) and his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi inspect the Guard of Honour yesterday in Ha Noi during the latter's two-day visit to Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
Renzi's visit, the first made by an Italian Prime Minister since the two countries set up diplomatic ties in 1973, marks a new development in the bilateral strategic partnership, Dung said.
He added that Viet Nam always treasured relations with Italy and that he hoped to further elevate the relationship in the future.
Renzi said his country was keen to boost its strategic partnership with Viet Nam, which played an important role in Southeast Asia and the ASEAN community.
At the talks, both sides also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern, affirming that they would continue to work closely at multilateral forums and global organisations, particularly within the framework of the United Nations (UN), ASEAN-EU and Asia-Europe Meetings.
As a facilitator of ASEAN-EU relations, Viet Nam has already backed Italy's enhanced ties with ASEAN.
Meanwhile, the European country has backed Viet Nam's bid to expand its multi-faceted relationship with the EU, calling on the organisation to approve the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Viet Nam. Italy has also been active in calling for the EU to recognise Viet Nam's market-based economy at the conclusion of negotiations for the Viet Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement.
Regarding the current situation in the East Sea, PM Dung briefed his Italian counterpart on China's illegal placement of the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 deep inside Viet Nam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, prescribed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982.
The act represented a serious violation of international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea to which China is a signatory, and was directly jeopardising peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the waters, he added.
In response, Renzi affirmed that Italy shared the position of the EU and G7, that expresses deep concern about the current situation in the East Sea and calls on all sides to exercise their utmost restraint and solve disputes peacefully in accordance with international law.
Also yesterday, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Ha Noi.
During the talk, Renzi pledged that Italy would work hard to realise the agreements, especially on trade and investment, reached during his Viet Nam visit.
For his part, Trong said he was pleased with the development in bilateral ties and hoped for fresh breakthroughs, particularly in investment, trade, and education and training.
He also said he wished to further relations between the Communist Party of Viet Nam and Italian political parties, including the Democratic Party, as well as the two countries' legislative bodies.
Meanwhile, during his meeting with Matteo Renzi yesterday, President Truong Tan Sang pledged to enable conditions for Italian investors to invest in Viet Nam, while requesting the establishment of an inter-governmental committee for economic cooperation.
Encouraged by the progress of the bilateral relationship, evidenced by the establishment of strategic partnership in 2013, Sang also highlighted the need to maintain the exchange of delegations at all levels. — VNS