Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs
and International Cooperation of Italy Manlio Di Stefano (Photo: VNA)
In an interview recently granted to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Rome, Di Stefano said in recent years, Vietnam has made a stride in history, which was the result of the Vietnamese leaders’ strategic vision.
The country has overcome difficulties during the Cold War and chosen the road of modernisation and multilateral integration with basic steps such as entry to the UN, ASEAN, the World Trade Organisation, and establishment of ties with regional organisations like the European Union as well as strategic partnership with many nations worldwide, including Italy, he said.
According to him, Vietnam’s opening of door to receive foreign investment, including those from Italy, has brought to Vietnam necessary resources in terms of investment, labour and technology for national construction.
Italy pays attention to Vietnam’s important role in the region and on international arena, he said, adding that the two nations have supported principles of a world order based on the respect of rules and the peaceful settlement of disputes, as well as shared a common wish to effectively promote multilateralism and sustainable development for all stakeholders.
He reiterated Italian President Sergio Mattarella’s congratulatory message sent to new State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc that Italy will grasp cooperation opportunities from the Vietnam – Italy strategic partnership established in 2013 and the Italy – ASEAN development partnership signed in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic showed that common issues must be settled via solidarity and cooperation, which inspired Italy in its role as G20 Chair and promptly the country to fund 116 million USD for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) to offer equal access to vaccines worldwide, including Vietnam. He also hailed Vietnam for effectively coping with the pandemic thanks to its experience in dealing with SARS in 2003.
Commenting on the prospect of bilateral cooperation after the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect in August 2020, Di Stefano expressed his belief in growing Italy-Vietnam trade ties this year. He suggested that Vietnam and the EU continue pursuing the goal of trade liberalisation in a more balanced manner.
As many as 110 Italian firms are operating in Vietnam. Bilateral economic ties are growing, especially in traditional fields such as machinery, apparel, automobiles, farm produce, oil and gas.
The European nation also supports hi-tech investment in Vietnam in telecommunications, outer space, pharmaceuticals, architecture and design, renewable energy, and innovation industries, he said.
He also expressed his hope to visit Vietnam when conditions allow./.