Italians hope to boost VN trade

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 08:31

Participants share thoughts on investment and co-operation opportunities between Italy and Viet Nam. — VNS Photo Phuong Thao

Italy wants to boost its investment in Viet Nam, focusing on providing more advanced technology equipment at competitive prices, while also supporting the country’s sustainable development with infrastructure and renewable energy projects, said Ivan Scalfarotto, Italian deputy minister of economic development.

He was speaking in Ha Noi yesterday at the Italian Business Mission to Viet Nam 2017 conference held for Vietnamese and Italian entrepreneurs to share investment and co-operation opportunities in Viet Nam.

The conference hosted 150 delegates representing some of Italy’s world-leading brands, in industries from renewable energy and infrastructure to machinery and banks and entrepreneurial associations. More than 200 Vietnamese counterparts also attended.

Italy is now Viet Nam’s eighth-largest trading partner in the world and the largest in the EU. Italian exports to Viet Nam include machinery, leather products and electronics. Italian investment in Viet Nam increased to $360 million in 2016 with 78 projects implemented.

Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and Italy increased sharply from US$1.13 billion in 2006 to $4.68 billion in 2016. In the first eight months of this year, bilateral trade reached $2.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 9 per cent.

Identifying economic cooperation as a priority pillar of bilateral cooperation, the two countries aim to increase trade turnover to $6 billion in the 2017- 18 period. They hope to increase Italy’s investment in Viet Nam, especially in sectors in which Italy is strong, creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese agriculture and seafood products to access the Italian market.

“Italy does not only wish to cooperate in the area of trade as in previous years, but also wants to help Viet Nam develop by supporting human resources training and capacity-building. To date, Italy has provided technological and financial support to establish a leather and footwear technological, training and application centre in Binh Duong Province, which opened in July this year,” Scalfarotto added.

As regards the obstacles of Italian firms when doing business in Viet Nam, Pham Hoang Hai, executive director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Viet Nam (ICHAM), told Viet Nam News that Italian firms are frustrated by the weakness of supporting industries in Viet Nam. Since most Italian firms doing business in Viet Nam are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), they are in need of component factories or auxiliary suppliers in Viet Nam and struggle to find the high-quality products they want to use.

However, Viet Nam also offers many factors that reassure Italian investors of its strong potential, such as the stability of its policy system, an encouraging corporate tax system and workers whose skills are flexible and transferable to a variety of tasks.

At the conference, two Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) have been signed. One MOU is between the Confidustria Marmomacchine – an association of Italian stone and marble manufacturing companies—and the Viet Nam Association for Building Materials and the Luc Yen White Marble Association. The other is between the ICHAM and Viet Nam’s General Department of Customs.

This is the first time that ICHAM has signed an agreement with Viet Nam’s General Department of Customs aimed at limiting trade fraud and smuggling, as well as guaranteeing that all products coming from Italy to Viet Nam are 100 per cent made in Italy or 100 per cent produced by Italian companies, said Michele D’Ercole, chairman of ICHAM.

The event was organised by the Italian Trade Commission (ICE), the Italian Banks’ Association (ABI) and the Italian Confederation of Industry Associations (Confindustria), with support from the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Embassy of Italy in Viet Nam. - VNS

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