The High Level Dialogue on ASEAN Italy Economic Relations has been held in Hanoi on June 5th and 6th and saw the participation of the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the former  Prime Minister of Italy Enrico Letta, Hanoi Mayor and Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung, the President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc, the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Trinh Dinh Dung and many other speakers.

The dialogue was held by the European House – Ambrosetti with the Associazione Italia-ASEAN, whose President is the former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, and supported by the Hanoi People’s Committee in conjunction with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM) and the Italian Embassy in Vietnam.

This is the third edition of such dialogue after the first in Jakarta in 2017 and the second in Singapore in 2018. It attracted more than 300 Italian and ASEAN businesses, together with 150 enterprises from Vietnam in different industries.The High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN Italy Economic Relations gathered the largest ever participation of Italian enterprises in Hanoi, opening up many opportunities for ASEAN and Italian businesses.

The visit of the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the most high-ranking one by an Italian leader to Vietnam over the past five years, is considered a significant move to enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries, which was set up in January 2013 during Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to Rome.

During the High-Level Dialogue on ASEAN Italy Economic Relations, the Vietnamese and Italian Prime Ministers agreed to raise the bilateral trade from nearly US$5 billion now to US$6 billion by 2020 and US$10 billion afterwards. Italy is now Vietnam’s fourth-largest trade partner in the EU and Vietnam is the European country’s biggest trade partner in ASEAN.

Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, now president of the Associazione Italia ASEAN, pointed out that ASEAN is the fifth-largest economy as a whole in the world, and is an important economic and geopolitical region for both Italian government and enterprises. Italy considers Vietnam a strategic gateway for Italian businesses in Southeast Asia. That position will lead to stronger trade activities and investments from Italy into Vietnam in the time ahead.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he believes that ASEAN is a fundamental and important partner of Italy. Cooperative opportunities between the two are expanding and developing, particularly between people, culture, and society. He also mentioned cooperation in security and climate change issues. Italy and ASEAN are both influenced by climate change, so the two sides need specific measures to address the situation.

As Enrico Letta claimed, “the economies of Italy and Vietnam have many similarities, which makes investment easier and faster for Italian businesses.”

As ICHAM, it has been an honor to help organize such an event and we are really proud to announce that Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy, visited ICHAM Office in Hanoi at Casa Italia. It has been an honor and pleasure for our Chairman Michele D’Ercole and all our Hanoi staff meeting with the Prime Minister of Italy.

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