Representatives of Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation signed the agreement. — Photo MoIT
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation have signed an agreement to establish a new Joint Commission on Economic Co-operation.
The signing took place during a teleconference between Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoàng Quốc Vượng and Italian Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Manlio Di Stefano on Tuesday.
The two sides discussed bilateral economic and trade co-ordination, including in energy, agriculture, industrial machinery, apparel, leather and footwear, and mining, affirming that economic links have been growing in recent years.
Vượng said the Vietnamese and Italian economies are similar and supplementary, thus bringing advantages to both. In particular, the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will open up many opportunities for the two countries’ businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises.
Việt Nam called on Italian firms to invest in supporting industries for leather and footwear, a field where Italy has strengths, in order to tap into the benefits brought about by the EVFTA, he said.
Di Stefano thanked Việt Nam, especially the MoIT, for providing invaluable and timely support to Italy, particularly in the fight against COVID-19.
He hailed Việt Nam as a “highlight” in economic growth with high export turnover and FDI attraction, especially at a time when it has successfully curbed the pandemic and restored its economy.
Việt Nam was also heralded as the fastest growing and most vibrant economy in Asia, particularly in ASEAN.
Italy highly valued Việt Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 and wants to become a development partner of ASEAN, contributing to the process of building the ASEAN Community, he said.
The new Joint Commission is expected to maintain the effective and practical cooperation mechanisms created by both sides in recent years, contributing to expanding two-way trade by 15-20 per cent each year.
According to the General Department of Việt Nam Customs, two-way trade between Việt Nam and Italy topped US$5.3 billion in 2019, up 13.71 per cent year-on-year. Exports neared $3.44 billion, up 18.46 per cent, while imports rose 5.95 per cent to $1.87 billion.
In the first five months of this year, the figure stood at just $1.77 billion, down 22.53 per cent year-on-year. — VNS