Vietnam, Italy to raise two-way trade to 6 billion USD by 2020

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held talks with his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte in Hanoi on Wednesday, following the welcome ceremony. Mr. Conte is on a two-day visit to Vietnam.

During talks, the two Prime Ministers said bilateral ties have great potential to develop and agreed to boost cooperation in politics-diplomacy, economy, culture, education-training, science-technology, national defense-security, sustainable development, climate change response, locality-to-locality connectivity. They promised to make it easier for the two nations' firms to partner up in mechanical engineering, infrastructure, textile and garment, footwear, wood processing, support industry, construction materials, oil and gas, renewable energy and food processing. Both sides agreed to raise two-way trade to 6 billion USD by 2020 and 10 billion USD in subsequent years from the current level of nearly 5 billion USD.

Prime Minister Phuc said Vietnam always treasures the friendly relations and multifaceted cooperation with Italy. He welcomed the initiative to hold the third High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations in Hanoi.

The Vietnamese Prime Minister said Vietnam supports Italy's strengthened relations with other ASEAN countries, adding that with its central position in the network of free trade agreements in Asia-Pacific, Vietnam will serve as a gateway for Italian enterprises to expand to Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific.

Both leaders agreed on the importance of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement. Prime Minister Conte expressed his support for the early signing and ratification of those deals.

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 significance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of maritime and aviation 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.

After the talks, both leaders co-chaired a press conference, where the Italian Prime Minister said Vietnam and Italy are in a favorable period for furthering bilateral cooperation. Mr. Conte said Vietnam is Italy's prioritized partner in Southeast Asia evidenced by business expansion of many Italian firms.

Mr. Phuc said both Prime Ministers agreed to deepen bilateral ties via strategic dialogue mechanisms.

Source: VOV5