HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam and Italy should step up cooperation in trade and investment, while expanding their collaboration in other fields, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn said on Tuesday.
At a reception for Italian Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Manlio Di Stefano in Hà Nội, Sơn suggested the two countries consider expanding their partnerships in climate change response, infrastructure, agriculture, food security, and human resources training.
Việt Nam attaches importance to promoting its strategic partnership with Italy, he said, expressing his delight at the progress of the relationship over the past time.
He called on Italy to help Việt Nam access finance and technologies to fulfil its commitments at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, the UK, last year.
The minister also suggested Italy coordinate with Việt Nam in the implementation of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and push for the ratification of the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), for the sake of their businesses.
Stefano, in reply, expressed his delight at the first visit to Việt Nam ever, and lauded the close cooperation between the two countries even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the maintenance of exchanges by senior leaders and cooperation programmes.
Briefing the host on the outcomes of the seventh meeting of the Vietnam-Italy joint committee for economic cooperation, he affirmed that economic cooperation remains a priority in the bilateral ties.
The Italian side also committed to increasing trade and investment activities in Việt Nam – its leading important partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The two sides agreed to effectively roll out an action programme to implement the strategic partnership for 2021-23, and coordinate to organise activities marking the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations, and the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership in 2023, including the exchange of high-ranking delegations and cooperation programmes between ministries, agencies and localities of the two countries.
Stefano thanked Việt Nam for backing Italy to become a development partner of ASEAN, commended Việt Nam’s contributions to the regional bloc, and suggested the country further support Italy to increase its presence in the region and promote cooperation projects with ASEAN on sustainable development, space and environment. — VNS
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