Leaders of Vietnam’s southern economic hub Ho Chi Minh City are slated to visit Italy in October this year to further beef up the cooperation between the city and Italy, deputy chairman of the municipal administration Vo Van Hoan has said in welcoming Italy’s National Day.
Hoan was speaking at a ceremony held by the Consulate General of Italy in the city on Friday to mark the 72nd anniversary of Italy’s National Day and also the 50th anniversary of Vietnam - Italy diplomatic relations.
The city’s vice mayor sent National Day greetings to the Italian Consul General Enrico Padula and his wife, and the entire Italian community living and working in Ho Chi Minh City.
Hoan highly appreciated the fruitful relationship between Ho Chi Minh City and its Italian twin city of Torino, toward the goal of laying a foundation and framework to further promote the bilateral cooperation in hi-tech, education, cultural heritage conservation and tourism.
Addressing the ceremony, Italian Consul General Padula recalled the long-lasting friendship relations between Italy and Vietnam, with Italy being the first Western European country to establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam right after the Paris Agreement was signed in 1973.
The diplomat expressed his pleasure that the two nations’ ties have strongly developed over the past 50 years, not only in diplomacy and politics but also in the economic, cultural and social fields.
He emphasized the significance of the cooperation for mutual development between the two countries, as well as between Italy and Ho Chi Minh City, the southern business and financial hub of Vietnam.
The past 50-year ties have given both nations an inspiration and a belief in the development of their relationship in the future, Padula said.
Last year, the trade value between Italy and Ho Chi Minh City reached US$780 million, while that of the two countries amounted to $6.2 billion, up 11 percent from 2021.
Vietnam is currently Italy’s largest trading partner in ASEAN while Italy is Vietnam’s fourth largest EU partner.
On the sideline of the ceremony were two impressive photo exhibitions, one of which depicted significant milestones in the Vietnam - Italy relations over the past 50 years, and the other featuring images representing the diversity of the Italian capital city of Rome.