Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc welcomes his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has said that Việt Nam treasures its multifaceted partnership with Italy, an important member of the European Union (EU).
He made the statement during talks with his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte in Hà Nội yesterday, following a welcome ceremony in the morning.
The Vietnamese PM welcomed the Italian leader for his two-day visit, which comes after the two countries celebrated the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of their strategic partnership last year.
PM Conte lauded Việt Nam’s dynamic development and rising position in the regional and global arena with the successful organisation of important international events.
He said the Italian government wants to further reinforce its relationship with Việt Nam, and considers the country a leading partner in Southeast Asia, as evidenced by the selection of Việt Nam as the venue for the third High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN – Italy Economic Relations.
The two PMs agreed Việt Nam–Italy ties have thrived in many different areas since the establishment of the strategic partnership in January 2013.
They vowed to continue facilitating visits at all levels and enhance joint work across politics, diplomacy, economy, culture, education and training, science-technology, national defence-security, sustainable development, climate change response and locality-to-locality connectivity. They will also strengthen existing co-operation mechanisms such as strategic dialogues at deputy foreign ministerial and deputy defence ministerial levels and the Việt Nam–Italy Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation.
Noting that Việt Nam is Italy’s largest trade partner in ASEAN, the PMs promised to make it easier for the two nations’ firms to collaborate in fields of Italy's strengths and Việt Nam's demands. These include mechanical engineering, infrastructure, textiles and garments, footwear, wood processing, support industry, construction materials, oil and gas, renewable energy and food processing.
Both sides expressed their determination to raise annual two-way trade from the current level of nearly US$5 billion to $6 billion by 2020 and $10 billion in subsequent years.
PM Phúc welcomed the initiative to hold the third High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN–Italy Economic Relations in Hà Nội, describing it as an important opportunity for Italy foster trade and investment ties with Việt Nam and ASEAN member states.
He said that thanks to its central position in the network of free trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region, Việt Nam will serve as a gateway for Italian enterprises to expand into Southeast Asia.
Host and guest agreed on the importance of the EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU–Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement. Conte expressed his support for the swift signing and ratification of the deals, which, he said, will promote bilateral trade and investment.
Discussing regional and global issues of shared concern, the PMs pledged to work closely together and offer mutual support at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting and the ASEAN–EU.
They also highlighted the importance of peace and stability in the East Sea as well as the settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Vietnamese leader accepted an invitation from his Italian counterpart to visit the European nation. The timeline for the visit will be arranged via diplomatic channels. —VNS