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2007 witnesses a boost in Viet Nam-Italy ties

Rome (VNA) – The year 2007 witnessed a strong development in cooperative and friendly relations between Viet Nam and Italy, Vietnamese ambassador said on January 23.
In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Van Nam cited the visits by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Italian Deputy PM-cum-Foreign Minister Massimo Dealema as a manifestation of the boosted friendship and cooperation.
“The agreements, reached during the meetings between PM Dung and his counterpart Romano Prodi as well as between the PM and Italian Minister for Economic Development Pierluigi Bersani and Minister for Transport Alessandro Bianchi, have given a new driving force for the friendship and cooperation between the two countries,” the ambassador further said.
In the economic area, the year 2007 saw a breakthrough in Italian direct investment in Viet Nam, with a number of businesses, including Piaggio, Bonfiglioli, Danieli, Mapei, Perfetti Van Mielle and Merloni Termosanitari, setting up shop in the Southeast Asian country, Nam further said.
Last year, Italy ranked 17 th among foreign investors in Viet Nam, a big jump from the 38 th position earlier. Two-way trade between the two countries rose 20 percent over 2006 to approximately 1 billion USD in the first eight months of 2007.
According to the diplomat, a boost was also seen in the relations between Viet Nam and Rome-based international organisations, including the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), as well as between Viet Nam and other countries in the region such as the Vatican, San Marino, Greece and Malta .
“The first official meeting between PM Dung and Pope Benedict XVI marked a new step of significance during the process of dialogue to fully normalise bilateral relations,” the ambassador said.
He went on to say that Viet Nam and San Marino signed an agreement last year to establish diplomatic relations at the ambassador level, opening an opportunity for both sides to boost economic and tourism cooperation in the future.
The Viet Nam-Greece ties also experienced an encouraging step-forward, with the visit to Viet Nam by Prime Minister Kostas Karamalis – the first ever in the history of bilateral ties, he said.
Greece’s decision to open its embassy in Ha Noi will definitely foster cooperative ties between the two countries in the future, the ambassador added.

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