President confident of reaching US$6 billion trade target with Italy

Wednesday, 2016-11-23 22:52:55
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President Tran Dai Quang attends the Vietnam-Italy Business Forum in Rome on November 23. (Credit: VOV)
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NDO/VNA – The target of US$6 billion in two-way trade between Vietnam and Italy in 2017-2018 is within reach as the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement is soon to be sealed, President Tran Dai Quang said.

The Vietnamese State leader made the remark at the Vietnam-Italy Business Forum in Rome on November 23 as part of his State-level visit to the European country.

Vietnam wishes that Italy will open its market up to Vietnamese farm produce and seafood, President Quang said.

He stated that Vietnam encourages Italian firms to invest in mechanical engineering, garment-textiles, leather footwear and timber and food processing, as well as cooperation between the two countries’ small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The President also called for Italian investment in transport and technology-information infrastructure under the form of the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

He urged Italian enterprises to share experience with their Vietnamese counterparts and help them connect with the global market.

He also expressed hope that Italy, as one of the world’s powers in tourism, will share its experience with Vietnam in promoting tourism and preserving historical sites and cultural heritage.

The leader affirmed the Vietnamese State’s commitment to creating an open, favourable and fair investment climate so as to meet requirements of international integration, for the sake of the two countries’ firms.

“Vietnam warmly welcomes Italian enterprises and pins high hope on their success in the country,” he stated.

President Quang went on to say that Vietnam 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 the Asia-Europe and ASEAN-EU cooperation.

He used the occasion to brief Italian firms on achievements Vietnam has recorded over the past 30 years of doi moi (reform).

Vietnam has transformed from an underdeveloped country into a developing one with middle-income status, stabilised macro economy and controlled inflation, the leader said.

The country’s per capita income now stands at about US$2,100 and its economic scale exceeds US$200 billion.

Vietnam is set to fulfil 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 Vietnam and Italy, particularly since the two countries signed a joint statement on the strategic partnership in January 2013.

Italy is one of Vietnam’s major European trade partners with total bilateral trade rising from US$3.4 billion in 2013 to US$4.3 billion in 2015. Meanwhile, Vietnam is Italy’s largest trade partner in the ASEAN.

Italy now has 77 investment projects in the Southeast Asian nation with many brand names now popular in Vietnam such as Piaggio motorbikes and Ariston water-heaters.

At the forum, the leader also talked about the thriving affiliation in culture, education-training and science-technology between the two countries.