He made the statement during talks with his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte in Hanoi on June 5, following the welcome ceremony in the morning the same day.
The Vietnamese PM welcomed the two-day visit by the Italian government leader, which came after the two countries celebrated the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of strategic partnership last year.
Conte, for his part, lauded Vietnam’s dynamic development and rising position on regional and global arena with the successful organisation of important international events.
He affirmed that the Italian government wants to further reinforce its strategic partnership with Vietnam, and considers Vietnam a leading partner in Southeast Asia, evidenced by the selection of Vietnam as the venue for the third High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN – Italy Economic Relations.
The two PMs agreed that Vietnam – Italy ties have thrived in diverse areas since the establishment of bilateral strategic partnership in January 2013.
They vowed to continue facilitating all-level visits and enhance joint work across politics-diplomacy, economy, culture, education – training, science-technology, national defence-security, sustainable development, climate change response, locality-to-locality connectivity while strengthening existing cooperation mechanisms such as strategic dialogues at deputy foreign ministerial and deputy defence ministerial levels, Vietnam – Italy Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation, and carry out reached cooperation agreements.
Welcoming the fact that Vietnam is Italy’s largest trade partner in ASEAN, the PMs promised to make it easier for the two nations’ firms to partner up in fields of Italy’s strength and Vietnam’s demand such as mechanical engineering, infrastructure, textile and garment, footwear, wood processing, support industry, construction materials, oil and gas, renewable energy and food processing.
Both sides expressed determination to raise two-way trade to 6 billion USD by 2020 and 10 billion USD in subsequent years from the current level of nearly 5 billion USD.
PM Phuc welcomed the initiative to hold the third High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN – Italy Economic Relations in Hanoi, describing it as an important opportunity for Italy to foster trade and investment ties with Vietnam and ASEAN member states.
He said with its central position in the network of free trade agreements in Asia-Pacific, Vietnam will serve as a gateway for Italian enterprises to expand to Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific.
Host and guest agreed on the importance of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement. Conte expressed his support for the early signing and ratification of those deals, which, he said, will contribute to promoting bilateral trade and investment, meeting interests of each side.
Discussing regional and global issues of shared concern, the PMs pledged to work closely together and offer mutual support at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, and the ASEAN – EU.
They also highlighted the significance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of maritime and aviation in the East Sea as well as the settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Vietnamese leader accepted an invitation to visit Italy by his Italian counterpart. The specific timeline will be arranged via diplomatic channel.