Wednesday, 02/06/2021 07:15

Việt Nam and Italy renewing their bonds in a time of recovery

Italian Ambassador Antonio Alessandro writes to Việt Nam News on the country’s National Day

Today, Italy celebrates the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic, when the Italian people chose to be a new country based on freedom, peace and democracy.

All Italians, in Italy and abroad, celebrate this day with pride, joy and unity. We are grateful to international friends for sharing these feelings with us.

Italy has begun to recover from the pandemic thanks to a massive vaccination campaign. Life is slowly returning to normality. Museums, theatres and cinemas have reopened. As restrictions to international mobility are being gradually removed, the extraordinary beauty of Italy continues to attract visitors from around the world.

Culture is at the heart of this new beginning. The first performance at “La Scala” of Milan on the 10th of May, after many months of silence, is the symbol of Italy’s will to overcome the pandemic. It will be followed in a few days by the opening match, at the Olympic Stadium of Rome, of the much-awaited Football European Championship.

In 2021 Italy commemorates the 700th anniversary of the death of the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri. File Photo

Throughout 2021, Italy will commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death of the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri. A new edition of the “Divine Comedy” in Vietnamese will be published for the occasion.

Last year the Embassy brought to Hà Nội the “Magister Raffaello” exhibition. This year, we present “Italian Routes”, an extraordinary journey through Italian, Vietnamese and world mountains, currently displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in HCM City. We look forward to having it in Hà Nội later in the month.

The strategic partnership between Italy and Việt Nam continues to grow.

Last December we held the VI Joint Economic Commission. Our bilateral trade has grown steadily over the last 10 years to nearly US$5 billion in 2019, making Việt Nam Italy’s largest partner in ASEAN.

More than 100 Italian companies are operating successfully in Việt Nam, bringing innovative and sustainable business models. The economic relations between our two countries are evolving: along with the traditional sectors, such as machinery, textiles, automotive, agri-food and oil & gas, we see the arrival in Việt Nam of an increasing number of high-tech Italian companies, in new sectors such as telecommunications, aerospace, pharma, architecture and design, renewable energies and creative industries.

In a year of global crisis, the entry into force of the EVFTA offered a prospect of growth and an injection of confidence in trade liberalisation.

Scientific cooperation and knowledge sharing is another pillar of our partnership. Seven executive protocols since 1992, more than 50 joint projects, 153 MoU’s between Italian and Vietnamese universities and research centres. Further opportunities were discussed at the recent Italy-Việt Nam Conference on Science and Technology Cooperation.

Student exchanges and the learning of Italian language in Việt Nam also play a crucial role in the building of our friendship. 

Last week the Italian Undersecretary of State, Manlio Di Stefano, and the Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tô Anh Dũng, held Political Consultations on issues such as trade liberalisation, environment and respect of international law.

They shared experiences in the respective capacities of Italy and Việt Nam as Chair of the G20 and non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

“La Scala” of Milan reopened its doors on May 10. Photo courtesy of Marco Brescia & Rudy Amisano 

On the occasion, Italy and Việt Nam signed the 2021-2023 Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategic Partnership established in 2013.

Design, fashion, food, environment, sport, heritage protection, creative industries and performing arts; these are some of the areas in which we can benefit from each other’s experience, enthusiasm and talent.

Italy as the Chair’s partner of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Convention on Climate Change, counts on Việt Nam to make it a success.

Italy also wishes to build on the Italy-ASEAN Development Partnership reached last September under the Vietnamese Presidency of the Association.

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly showed that common issues must be settled via solidarity and multilateralism: this principle led Italy to be a major donor to the COVAX facility and to advocate for the removal of any barriers to the export of vaccines.

As underlined by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, in his congratulations to the President of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc: "Rome and Hà Nội are united by bonds of friendship and collaboration that have ancient roots, but are able to constantly renew themselves and project themselves into the future."

Viva l’Italia! Việt Nam muôn năm! Let’s get closer!  VNS

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