Opening Remarks by VCCI President Vu Tien Loc at the High Level Dialogue on ASEAN- Italy Economic Relations

4:44:57 PM | 6/6/2019

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte co-chaired the Italy-ASEAN Business Forum on June 6 in Hanoi. The following is the full text of the opening remarks delivered by Dr. Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), at the High Level Dialogue on ASEAN- Italy Economic Relations.

Prime Minister of Italy His Excellency Mr Giuseppe Conte,

Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam His Excellency Mr Trinh Dinh Dung,

Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN His Excellency Mr Hoang Anh Tuan,

CEO of Ambrosetti His Excellency Mr Valerio De Molli,

President of Italy – ASEAN Association, former Prime Minister of Italy, His Excellency Mr Enrico Letta

Chairman of Hanoi’s People’s Committee, His Excellency Mr Nguyen Duc Chung

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It was in 2016 in Jakarta that The European House – Ambrosetti, in collaboration with the Italy ASEAN Association, took the excellent initiative to organise the first High Level Dialogue on ASEAN-Italy Economic Relations.

Its success was continued in the second dialogue in 2018 in Singapore, and here we are today at the third dialogue in Hanoi, with more than 500 participants. Vietnam is honoured to host this event, as we are preparing for our role as Chair of ASEAN next year.

This Dialogue is an effective platform to promote major business opportunities among ASEAN countries and Italy. It strengthens strategic and political relations among ASEAN and Italian companies and institutions. It also gives ASEAN countries and Italian businesses and political leaders innovative approaches and ideas to shape their strategies. 

I would like to welcome Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Trinh Dinh Dung, ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Hoang Anh Tuan, and high-level official representatives of Italy and ASEAN countries.

 We also warmly welcome Italian and ASEAN business leaders. Being our close friends, you are the bridges connecting our countries. You are and continue to be the most important players in the creation and collaboration of our brand names: “Made in Italy” and “Made in ASEAN”. We are proud of you and we highly appreciate you.   

I would like to express our sincere thanks to Ambassador of Italy to Vietnam Antonio Alessandro and his team at the Embassy, Chairman of Hanoi’s People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung and his office, for all the hard work together with Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry to help make this event happen.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

The trade and economic relations between Italy and ASEAN, including Vietnam, is entering an important phase. In the Euro zone, Italy is the second largest manufacturer and the third largest economy. Italy is also the 8th largest economy in the world, and is the birth place of many leading technologies. Italy is a leading economic partner for ASEAN in the EU.

ASEAN is the 5th largest economy in the world and is an important geo-economic and political location for the EU in general, and for Italy in particular. Our economies have many similarities and complementarities. We share a vision of sustainable development. In the process of restructuring its economies, ASEAN countries aim to reach a new level of development which is more inclusive, more humanistic, more environmentally friendly, and more technologically advanced. Italian companies are among the highest potential partners for us in this process.

Italy and ASEAN partnership is not a simple combination of two markets of 630 million people in ASEAN and 61 million people in Italy. Instead, both serve as the entry points for each other to enter EU and global markets through many free trade agreements (FTAs), including new generation FTAs, that Italy, ASEAN and its member nations are signatories to.

We especially welcome a stronger partnership between Italy and ASEAN in promoting free trade, digital and circular economy. We encourage Italy and ASEAN to collaborate with each other to internationalise micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and to link them to the global responsible supply chains. It’s the inclusive, innovative and effective development of these micro, small and medium enterprises that will bring about improved livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people. They shape the future of our economies.

Vietnam plays an important role in promoting an Italy-ASEAN partnership. Vietnam is a close friend and a trusted partner for both Italy and ASEAN. Vietnam can serve as an important gateway for Italian businesses to the ASEAN market, connecting ASEAN and China – a market with high potential for new business opportunities.

Vietnam is an emerging economy, with more than 100 million people in the near future, high economic growth rate and a stable society. Vietnam is a strategic partner for both Italy and ASEAN. Vietnam is a signatory of 12 free trade agreements, including new-generation FTAs. Vietnam is also in the process of negotiating new FTAs and has concluded negotiation with the EU. We believe that when the EU-Vietnam FTA is signed, ratified and fully implemented, it will create new momentum for Vietnam-Italy partnerships, particularly in the context of a more deepening ASEAN integration.

In a changing and unpredictable world, the partnerships among Vietnam – ASEAN and Italy will generate a safe trading zone for all, because we are similar in our vision, complementary in our capacity, sharing in our responsibility, and aiming for win-win solutions and sustainability.

In that spirit, I declare the opening of the High-Level Dialogue on Italy ASEAN Economic Relations. I wish you success. I wish you memorable days in Vietnam. By the time you leave our country, I hope what stays with you is that: VIETNAM – WE MEAN BUSINESS.

There are seven golden letters in the word Vietnam. Like seven colours in the rainbow, each has its special meaning.

V - Vast potential market

I - Investment friendly environment

E - Entrepreneurial nation

T - Transparent and pro-active government

N - Numerous, young and creative labourers

A - Attractive geo-economic political location

M - Massive opportunity

Thank you all for your attention!