Rome (VNA) – Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang and Italian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Maria Tripodi co-chaired the fifth political consultation between the two ministries to discuss orientations to promote the bilateral Strategic Partnership in the coming time.
The two sides expressed their delight that the consultation was held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic ties, and the 10th founding anniversary of the Strategic Partnership.
They highly appreciated outstanding results in bilateral economic cooperation with the two countries becoming each other’s important trading partner in the region. Two-way trade reached more than 6.2 billion USD in 2022, up 11% year-on-year, thanks to positive impacts of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
Hang affirmed Vietnam hopes to develop and deepen its Strategic Partnership with Italy – a member state with an important role in the EU. She proposed the two sides step up delegation exchanges; maintain the efficiency of bilateral cooperation mechanisms in the fields of diplomacy, defence, economy and science and technology; and coordinate together in organising celebrations this year.
Regarding socio-economic recovery prospects and rich potential for the bilateral cooperation, the two sides agreed to work with each other to effectively implement the EVFTA towards a goal of 7 billion USD in bilateral trade as set by the two Prime Ministers during their meeting last December.
Hang also suggested Italy soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and push for the European Commission (EC)'s early removal of its 'yellow card' warning against Vietnamese seafood exports.
Tripodi, in turn, affirmed that the Italian Government supports the early completion of internal procedures for the ratification of the EVIPA, and encourages Italian businesses to promote investment in Vietnam.
She expressed her hope that the two sides will convene a meeting of the joint committee for economic cooperation in 2023, and continue to provide development credit for Vietnam in water resource management and sustainable regional development.
Speaking highly of Vietnam's strong commitments at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), Tripodi said that Italy is willing to share experience with and assist Vietnam within the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) framework.
The two officials also exchanged views on measures to intensify cooperation in security-defence, science-technology, culture-education and tourism.
They agreed to continue effectively carrying out existing mechanisms such as the joint committee for scientific and technological cooperation and the defence policy dialogue, and soon approve a cultural collaboration programme for the 2023-2025 period, and an action programme for educational cooperation for this period.
They also reached consensus on the maintenance of close coordination at multilateral forums, particularly in the UN organisations. Sharing opinions on regional and international issues of mutual concern, the two sides stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability and security, including marine security; supporting the settlement of disputes via peaceful means in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Within the framework of her visit to Italy, Hang also had a working session with the Vietnamese embassy and agencies in the host country./.
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