Vietnamese, Italian PMs applaud progress in strategic partnership

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi expressed their delight at the recent strides in the strategic partnership between the two countries during their phone talks on April 20.

The two leaders agreed to increase exchanges at all levels, continue to effectively implement the action programme to deploy the strategic partnership for 2021 - 2023, as well as cooperation mechanisms such as the political consultation and the joint committee for economic cooperation, and prepare for the 50th founding anniversary of the Vietnam – Italy diplomatic ties and 10 years of their strategic partnership in 2023.

They noted with satisfaction that after nearly two years since the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect, bilateral trade had recorded encouraging results. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it reached US$5.6 billion in 2021, up 20% from the previous year.

PM Chinh spoke highly of Italy’s inclusion of Vietnam on its list of priority countries for trade and investment cooperation in the post-2020 period, affirming that Vietnam will create the best possible conditions for Italian businesses to expand investment in the Southeast Asian country.

He called on Italy to soon ratify the EU - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), and urge the EU to remove the “yellow-card” warning against Vietnam’s seafood products, and  recognise Vietnam’s “vaccine passports”, while providing favourable conditions for Vietnamese goods, especially agricultural and food products, and seasonal fruits, to enter the Italian market.

Agreeing with his counterpart on the proposals to further deepen the strategic partnership, PM Draghi pledged that the Italian government will push the parliament’s ratification of the EVIPA.

He noted Italian firms want to continue investing in Vietnam in the fields of renewable energy, infrastructure, water resources management, and innovation.

PM Chinh thanked Italy for its active coordination in dealing with the recent scam facing some cashew nut exporters in Vietnam. In reply, PM Draghi said his country would look into the case and has ordered relevant agencies to prevent the hand-over of cashew nut containers.

On this occasion, PM Chinh sent his sincere thanks to the Italian PM, Government, and people for their timely supply of over 2.8 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for Vietnam via the COVAX Facility.

During the talks, the Vietnamese leader highlighted the country’s strong commitments made at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) regarding greenhouse gas emissions and converting to a green and circular economy with the aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

He asked Italy, as an important member of the G7 and the EU, to help Vietnam access finance and technology to cope with climate change, digital transformation, and develop a green economy and renewable energy.

The Italian PM highly valued Vietnam’s commitments at COP26, noting that his country is ready to assist Vietnam in equitable energy transition.

The two PMs agreed that their countries will coordinate closely at multilateral forums, including the UN, UNESCO, the Asia - Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the ASEAN - EU framework.

Besides, they also exchanged views on international and regional issues of shared concern, including the East Sea and the importance of peaceful resolution of disputes on the basis of international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

PM Chinh invited his counterpart to pay an official visit to Vietnam in the near future. The Italian leader accepted the invitation with pleasure and also invited PM Chinh to visit his country when possible.

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