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Vietnam, Italy hold first strategic dialogue
23/07/2013

Italy attaches importance to and wishes to deepen multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam, a country which plays a key role in the region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Bruno Archi made the statement at the first deputy ministerial level strategic dialogue between Vietnam and Italy, which was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi on July 22.

The two sides informed each other of the socio-economic development and external relation policy of either country in recent years.

Deputy FM Son welcomed and spoke highly of the decision of Deputy FM Archi, the first member of the new Italian cabinet, to select Vietnam as the first leg of his Asian tour.

Archi highly valued the all-sided and important achievements Vietnam has made during its renewal and socio-economic development process.

He also said that his Government has added Vietnam to the list of 10 countries that Italy will prioritise trade and investment.

The two sides expressed their satisfaction with the fine development of their traditional friendship and cooperation in all fields. It was clearly shown by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s State visit to Italy in January this year, during which the two countries officially set up their strategic partnership, creating a new cooperation framework to deepen bilateral relations.

They exchanged and reached agreement on measures to boost their comprehensive cooperation, such as increasing the exchange of high-ranking delegations, encouraging and creating favourable conditions for their business circles, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to promote experience sharing and links with a focus on Vietnam’s needs and Italy’s strengths, namely infrastructure, transport, energy, manufacturing, environment and the processing industry.

The two sides will also strengthen cultural exchanges through jointly organising activities during the Vietnam Year in Italy and Italy Year in Vietnam in 2013, as well as cooperation in education-training, science-technology and defence.

They also appreciated the implementation of joint projects and agreed to continue exchanging ideas so that the Development Cooperation Protocol for the 2013-2015 can be soon ratified, with focus on environment, health, education and support for SMEs.

The two deputy FMs also agreed to maintain consultation mechanisms between the two countries’ ministries and agencies, soon set up a Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation and organise a meeting of the Joint Committee on Science and Technology .

They swapped views on the content of the action plan to implement the Joint Statement on the establishment of their strategic partnership and agreed to soon submit it to their respective Governments for approval.

In the spirit of mutual understanding, frankness and mutual trust, the two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern, affirming that the two Foreign Ministries will continue to work closely at international and regional forums, especially within the framework of the UN, ASEAN-EU and Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM).

As an ASEAN-EU relations coordinator, Vietnam always supports the enhancement of ASEAN-EU trade and investment as well as advocates Italy to strengthen its relations with ASEAN, Deputy FM Son said.

Deputy FM Archi affirmed that Italy respects the increasing role of ASEAN as well as regional mechanisms initiated by the association.

The country also supports Vietnam in developing its comprehensive cooperation with the EU, including asking the EU to soon ratify the Partnership Cooperation Agreement (PCA), he said.

He added that Italy backs the EU’s early recognition of Vietnam’s full market economy as well as the completion of the Vietnam-EU FTA negotiations.

The Italian side shared Vietnam’s viewpoint on East Sea issues to ensure peace, stability, maritime security, safety and freedom, and agreed that disputes should be resolved through peaceful means in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties on the East Sea and Code of Conducts of Parties on the East Sea.

The same day, Deputy FM Minister Bruno Archi paid a courtesy visit to Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, who said he believes that bilateral economic, trade and investment relations will strongly develop thanks to Italy’s decision to list Vietnam among its 10 countries of priority.

He also thanked Italy for its pledge to support Vietnam’s bid to join the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 period, suggesting the two sides reach consensus on the Vietnam-Italy action plan for the 2013-2014 period.

Deputy FM Archi expressed his hope that Vietnam will create favourable conditions for Italy to open its Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City at the end of 2013.

The Italian official also paid a courtesy visit to FM Pham Binh Minh during his Vietnam visit.-VNA

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