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High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations held in Hanoi

Released at: 17:52, 06/06/2019

High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations held in Hanoi

Photo: Minh Do

Dialogue attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

by Nghi Do

“When you look East, you should choose Vietnam - a country of 95 million people, developing dynamically, an active member of ASEAN which consists of ten countries with a combined GDP of nearly $3 trillion,” the Prime Minister said in his message to Italian enterprises at the 3rd High Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations on June 6 in Hanoi.

The dialogue was held by the European House - Ambrosetti with the Associazione Italian-ASEAN - whose President is the former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, and supported by the Hanoi People’s Committee in conjunction with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM) and the Italian Embassy in Vietnam. It took place on the occasion of an official visit to Vietnam by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

It attracted more than 300 Italian and ASEAN businesses, together with 150 enterprises from Vietnam in different industries.

Speaking at the opening of the dialogue, Prime Minister Phuc thanked Italian leaders and businesses for choosing Vietnam and Hanoi, the city of peace, for the dialogue.

For the first time, the dialogue was attended by both the Prime Minister and one of the Deputy Prime Ministers. “This expresses our great support for and appreciation of the cooperation of the Italian Government and Italian and ASEAN enterprises with Vietnam,” Prime Minister Phuc said.

He suggested that Vietnam and Italian enterprises work together to grow together, especially in the context of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) being in the process of signing and ratifying.

Mr. Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), assessed the effectiveness of the dialogue highly in terms of promoting potential business opportunities between Italy and ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, and in strengthening political relations and strategic partnerships between organizations and companies from Italy and ASEAN.

Prime Minister Conte said he believes that ASEAN is a fundamental and important partner of Italy. Cooperative opportunities between the two are expanding and developing, particularly between people, culture, and society.

He appreciated the cooperation seen in economy, people, and culture but noted there are still many aspects that need improvements. He also mentioned cooperation in security and climate change issues. Italy and ASEAN are both influenced by climate change, so the two sides need specific measures to address the situation.

According to Mr. Letta, ASEAN is the fifth-largest economy in the world and is an important economic and geopolitical region for the Italian Government in general and Italian businesses in particular. Italy always attaches great importance to the Italy-Vietnam bilateral strategic cooperation and the Italy-ASEAN multilateral relationship, in which in Vietnam is a strategic gateway for Italian enterprises in Southeast Asia.

“This means there are many projects to promote trade as well as to increase the flow of Italian investment into Vietnam, to be a stepping stone for Italian enterprises to be more active in this potential ASEAN market,” he said. “The economies of Italy and Vietnam have many similarities, which makes investment easier and faster for Italian businesses.”

The first two dialogues, in Jakarta in 2017 and Singapore in 2018, were attended by 500 business leaders in over 60 sectors and representatives from governments and 14 Southeast Asian countries, with more than 60 international speakers.

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