President Trần Đại Quang (left) held talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi yesterday during his official visit to the country. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sáng
ROME – Because the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement is going to be sealed, the target of US$6 billion in two-way trade between Việt Nam and Italy in 2017-18 is within reach, President Trần Đại Quang said.
The Vietnamese State leader made the remark at the Vietnam-Italy Business Forum in Rome yesterday as part of his State visit to the European nation.
Việt Nam wishes that Italy will open its market for Vietnamese farm produce and seafood, President Quang said.
He encouraged Italian firms to invest in Vietnamese mechanical engineering, garment-textiles, leather footwear and timber and food processing, as well as co-operation between the two countries’ small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The President also called for Italian investment in transport and technology-information infrastructure through a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
He urged Italian enterprises to share experience with their Vietnamese counterparts and help them to connect with the global market.
He also expressed hope that Italy, as one of the world’s tourism powers, will share its experience with Việt Nam in promoting tourism and preserving historical sites and cultural heritage.
For the sake of the two countries’ firms, the leader affirmed the Vietnamese State’s commitment to creating an open, favourable and equal investment climate that meets international integration requirements.
“Việt Nam warmly welcomes Italian enterprises and pins high hopes on their success in our country,” he stated.
President Quang went on to say that Việt Nam wishes to elevate the bilateral strategic partnership to a new level that matches the two countries’ potential, strength and demands, making it a model of Asia-Europe and ASEAN-EU co-operation.
He used the occasion to brief Italian firms on Việt Nam’s achievements over the past 30 years of reform.
Việt Nam has transformed from an underdeveloped country to a developing one with middle-income status, a stablised macro economy and tamed inflation, the leader said.
The country’s per capita income now stands at about $2,100 and its economic scale exceeded $200 billion.
Việt Nam is set to fulfill its commitments to the ASEAN Community and the World Trade Organisation, and join new-generation free trade agreements, including a deal with the EU, while continuing with international integration, he said.
The President also highlighted the fruitful relationship between Việt Nam and Italy, particularly since the two countries signed a joint strategic partnership statement in January 2013.
Italy is one of Việt Nam’s major European trade partners, with total bilateral trade rising from $3.4 billion in 2013 to $4.3 billion in 2015. Meanwhile, Việt Nam is Italy’s largest ASEAN trade partner.
Italy now has 77 investment projects in Việt Nam, with many brand names such as Piaggio motorbike and Ariston water heaters now popular in Việt Nam.
At the forum, the leader also talked about the thriving affiliation in culture, educational training and science-technology between the two countries. — VNS