Heightening bilateral prospects is of top priority

February 11, 2024 | 21:53
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In recent years, trade between Italy and Vietnam has grown significantly. In 2022, the total value of trade surpassed $6 billion, an increase of almost 20 per cent from the previous year. The figure for 2023 was slightly higher, sitting at around $6.1 billion.
Heightening bilateral prospects is of top priority
Michele D’Ercole, chairman Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam

This growth has been driven by a number of factors, including the need to diversify from Chinese manufacturing, the very strong economic growth of Vietnam, and the increasing demand for Italian products in Vietnam. The country is a land of opportunities for Italian investment and trade in a number of sectors, including manufacturing, the green economy, smart cities, water and waste treatment, the digital economy, tourism, pharmaceuticals, education, and plenty more.

Both Italy and Vietnam need to do more to create a favourable environment for investments. This means continuing to foster and get benefit from the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, making procedures easier and cheaper, reducing red tape, ensuring clarity and certainty in the law, speeding up lawsuits, and allowing the recognition of sentences. Italy can also do more to pull in Vietnamese investments, which are negligible in Italy. The Italian government has launched an investor visa programme, which allows Vietnamese and other foreign nationals to get a Schengen visa from Italy specifically for investing purposes.

However, there is still a significant imbalance in trade between the two countries, as Vietnam has a trade surplus with Italy. The Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM) is committed to helping to rebalance this trade relationship by promoting more Italian exports to Vietnam, continuing to support the Vietnamese business to Italy. The chamber has a number of initiatives in place to achieve this goal, including business-to-business events, trade missions, and market research.

In addition to its work on trade, ICHAM also plays a role in promoting business education, networking, and sharing best practices between Italian and Vietnamese businesses. The chamber has a number of programmes in place to support these activities, including seminars, webinars, and conferences.

Our members reached all-time high numbers in 2023, with over 100 companies of all sizes from Italy and Vietnam. This growth is a testament to the quality of the Italian community in Vietnam, and of the chamber’s success in fostering business cooperation between the two countries.

In order to further promote business cooperation between Italy and Vietnam, ICHAM has partnered with the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano to launch a new course called Vietnamese Business Management.

This two-month intensive course is designed for executives and entrepreneurs from all over the world who want to learn more about doing business in and with Vietnam. The course covers a wide range of topics, including the Vietnamese business culture, the legal and regulatory framework, and market opportunities in Vietnam.

ICHAM is also committed to promoting the Italian businesses to the Vietnamese localities. In 2023, we organised an important delegation to the north-central province of Thanh Hoa and aim for similar initiatives in other provinces during 2024, together with the Italian Embassy in Hanoi and the Italian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnamese authorities. These delegations help to raise awareness of the investment and trade opportunities in these localities among Italian businesses and Vietnamese partners.

ICHAM has been operating in Vietnam since 2008, with offices in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and has played a key role in fostering economic cooperation between the two countries. We provide a number of services to its members, including business events, trade missions, market research, and relevant education.

Vietnam, Italy look to optimise business opportunities Vietnam, Italy look to optimise business opportunities

Nearly 100 delegates representing Vietnamese and Italian organisations and businesses attended the Vietnam-Italy trade promotion forum in Rome on September 19.

Facilitating two-way business between Vietnam and Italy Facilitating two-way business between Vietnam and Italy

As a country, Italy, whose GDP growth has been rather stagnant for a while, breathes optimism and energy from Vietnam. Both countries place a strong emphasis on values such as family, traditions, beauty, and food, and both have a rich cultural heritage that is deeply ingrained in their societies. Additionally, Vietnam and Italy are similar in terms of their geographical size and administrative structure, which does provide a basis for more effective collaboration.

Vietnam - Italy beauty through the eyes of Italian photographer Vietnam - Italy beauty through the eyes of Italian photographer

To mark 50 years of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties, Italian photographer Fulvio Bugani has displayed his photos at an exhibition in Hanoi to showcase the beauty of Sicily. He shared with VIR’s Minh Khanh his passion and love of capturing historical and cultural relics.

By Michele D’Ercole

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