The Italian government will supply support for Vietnam to open two technology centers for the garment and footwear industries in 2016, a trade commissioner said on Sunday.
The centers will be set up at two leading universities, one of which is the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Bruna Santarelli, a trade commissioner at the Italian Trade Commission in Vietnam, said at the Vietnam-Italy Strategic Dialogue.
The event was held in Ho Chi Minh City as part of the official visit of Italian President Sergio Mattarella to Vietnam.
The president arrived in Hanoi on Thursday and concluded his four-day trip in the southern metropolis yesterday.
The opening of the technology centers is the result of a number of initiatives from the Italian government, which in 2014 passed the “Unlock Italy” decree to boost the promotion of what is “Made in Italy” around the world, according to the trade commissioner.
The Italian government has decided to open the two centers as it wants to help Vietnam improve the performance of the garment and footwear sectors, Santarelli said.
The Italians will equip the upcoming centers with their machinery and technology, as well as sending experts to train the local workforce, she added.
The Italian-supported garment center will be inaugurated at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology in November 2016, according to university president Vu Dinh Thanh.
“The center will receive 15 machines from Italy, which will be used to help train skilled employees for both the Vietnamese and Italian apparel businesses,” Thanh was quoted by The Saigon Times Online as saying at the dialogue.
Italy is Vietnam’s fourth-largest trading partner in the EU, with bilateral trade topping US$4 billion in 2014, up 17 percent from a year earlier, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh said at the Sunday event.
As of the end of last year, Italy had ranked ninth among the EU countries, and 28th among foreign investors in terms of direct foreign investment in Vietnam, according to the deputy premier.
The Vietnam-Italy Strategic Dialogue was held to discuss options for increasing bilateral trade ties and investment cooperation between the two countries.
President Mattarella said Vietnam and Italy have similarities in small- and medium-sized business structure, adding that difficulties stemming from globalization could help connect the two economies.
Businesses, associations and universities in Vietnam and Italy could all contribute to strengthening such cooperation, he added.
The Italian leader underscored that those Italian businesses that have achieved success in Vietnam will act as ‘spokespeople’ for Italy’s cooperative models and cooperation commitments in the Southeast Asian country.
President Mattarella added that Vietnam is among the ten emerging markets Italy has prioritized for developing trade and investment with, as he met with his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang in Hanoi on Friday.
Many Italian businesses have plans for long-term investment in the Vietnamese market and have launched several successful projects in the country, according to the visiting president.