Viet Nam News
This year marks a meaningful anniversary for Italy and Việt Nam: 45 years of diplomatic relations. Italian Ambassador Cecillia Piccioni sends Việt Nam News readers a message to celebrate the long-term friendship between two peoples.
Indeed, in 1973 Italy was one of the first countries of the European community to establish diplomatic relations with Việt Nam; however, the ties that link our two countries have much older roots. They can be traced back to a past marked by friendship and solidarity during the country’s hardest times.
Nowadays the co-operation between our countries is thriving, making the bilateral relationship truly strategic. In all fields we are working together to achieve the ambitious targets established by our Strategic Partnership. Our relations are getting stronger and tighter at all levels: institutional, economic and cultural.
Institutionally, they are thriving, as illustrated by the many meetings among our leaders, including the State visit by Italian President Mattarella in 2015. That historic event has been followed by those of important Italian Ministers as well as by President Trần Đại Quang’s State visit to Italy in 2016.
These high-level visits enhanced our already outstanding partnership in the economic and commercial sector. Indeed, not only is Việt Nam one of our most promising trade partners, but it ranks first among the 10 ASEAN members. Our bilateral trade hit 4 billion euros in 2016 (up 7 per cent compared to 2015) and preliminary data for 2017 are very encouraging, confirming us as the second largest EU exporter to Việt Nam.
Moreover, Italy, whose entrepreneurial presence in Việt Nam is contributing to its industrialization, reaffirmed during the most recent Joint Economic Commission its commitment to sharing knowledge and technology to play a more active role in the new stages of the Vietnamese quest to reach higher standards of modernisation.
Finally, our cultural relations are thriving. To enhance mutual understanding and deeper knowledge of our two countries’ traditions and heritages we’ve tripled the number of cultural initiatives, reaching the public throughout the country and bridging the geographical distance between Italy and Việt Nam. We focus on the similarities between our peoples and spare no effort to enhance awareness of the many tangible and intangible heritages we share.
Against such a highly promising backdrop, the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations marks a new milestone in our partnership.
In light of such a special occasion we’ve developed a program encompassing the various facets of our friendship and co-operation. A program that, highlighting and promoting reciprocal understanding as well as the richness of Italian culture, could enhance our mutual knowledge in areas ranging from cultural to economic promotion, from scientific and technological research, to fashion and industrial design.
The celebrations were launched last Friday at the Youth Theatre in Hà Nội with a special concert celebrating Italian-Vietnamese friendship: the IBLA Việt Nam Awards 2018, featuring 11 young and talented musicians from all over the world, performing some of the most iconic music with a special focus on Gioacchino Rossini, in the year of the 150th anniversary of his passing away.
The following weekend, the Italy-Việt Nam Fashion Council introduced to the Việt Namese public the Việt Nam-Italia Fashion Week 2018, with the special participation of the Italian designer Michele Gaudiomonte. As Italy is one of the leading fashion superpowers in the world and Việt Nam has always harbored a strong interest in the field, fashion has soon become an important area of cooperation between our countries.
We complemented the fashion show with an exclusive thematic exhibition: the "Silk Weaving Process". Held at Casa Italia, the initiative showcased the traditional silk manufacturing process presented by artisans from Hà Nội and Bảo Lộc. The exhibition has highlighted the value of craft and culture in the fashion industry as well the key relevance our two countries attach to sustainability.
Indeed, the preciousness and versatility of sustainable textiles such as silk, and the encounters between Italian and Vietnamese designers, proved the main sources of inspiration for many fashion collections for Autumn/Winter 2018. Indeed, sustainability is the “golden thread” that we’ve chosen to link the many events that will mark the 45th anniversary programme. Next month we’ll organise a special event on geographical indications and scientific co-operation.
The extensive calendar of activities will unfold with many other initiatives in the upcoming months through gastronomy, music, cinema and much more.
Despite the distance, Italy and Việt Nam are remarkably similar. They have two millennia-old cultures, two of the richest artistic heritages in the world and diverse geographic, urban, economic and social environments. Our program will mirror all of this and more. — VNS