JOINT STATEMENT ON STRENGTHENING THE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN VIET NAM – ITALY
1.At the invitation of the President of the Italian Republic, H.E. Sergio Mattarella, the President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Vo Van Thuong, paid a State visit to the Italian Republic from July 26 to July 27, 2023.
2.This was the first Head-of-State visit between the two countries in seven years.
The visit was of great significance in promoting political trust and strengthening the Viet Nam - Italy Strategic Partnership. The visit was also particularly meaningful as it took place at a time when the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations (1973-2023) and the 10th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership.
During the talks, in an atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding, the two Parties expressed their high appreciation for the robust growth of the bilateral relations over the past 50 years and agreed to further advance high-level exchanges and contacts within bilateral and multilateral frameworks, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the specialized cooperation mechanisms between the two countries. The two sides extensively discussed the future direction for their relationship, as well as international and regional issues of mutual interest.
4. The two Parties welcomed the positive and extensive achievements in the Viet Nam – Italy relationship, especially since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership in 2013, reinforcing mutual cooperation and delegation exchanges at all levels, including high level visits. Both sides have productively implemented bilateral cooperation mechanisms and worked in close concert at multilateral forums. In the economic domain, each country has become an important partner of the other, with Viet Nam becoming Italy's largest trade partner in ASEAN. In defense and security, the two countries are developing effective cooperation mechanisms. Cooperation in education and training, science and technology, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges is continuously advancing. The two Parties noted with satisfaction the two countries' support for each other in vaccines and medical supplies during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
5.The two Parties agreed on the importance of bilateral cooperation against the backdrop of complex, unpredictable and potentially unstable developments in the region and the world, as well as many increasingly serious global issues facing the international community. Accordingly, the two Parties reaffirmed their determination to strengthen the Viet Nam - Italy Strategic Partnership by continuing cooperation in traditional fields and expanding into new areas such as digital transformation, green growth, and climate change response. They also agreed to work in close concert for the prosperity and sustainable and inclusive development of the two countries, and for peace, cooperation and development in the region and in the world, in accordance with fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter.
6. The two Parties agreed to strengthen cooperation between the respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs, maintain the effective Deputy Foreign Ministerial-Level Political Consultation, and support the smooth operation of both countries' diplomatic and consular missions.
7.The two Parties agreed that defense and security cooperation are important pillars of the bilateral relations and affirmed to further advance delegation exchanges at all levels. On defense Cooperation, they agreed on the effective maintenance of the Deputy Defense Ministerial-Level Policy Dialogue. Viet Nam will positively consider receiving Italian Navy's vessels' port calls to Viet Nam, in accordance with International law and practices, Vietnamese regulations, and the actual conditions on the ground. The two sides will continue to explore the possibilities of conducting specialized training in UN peacekeeping, defense and security industry and maritime security. On Security Cooperation, the two Parties agreed on the establishment of a Joint Committee to promote cooperation between the Ministry of Public Security of Viet Nam and the Ministry of Interior of Italy. They also agreed on fostering cooperation in cyber security, prevention and suppression of transnational organized crime, hydrography. Such activities will be conducive to deepening the bilateral defense and security cooperation, thereby contributing to peace, stability and development in the region and the world.
8.The two Parties expressed their high appreciation for being each other's important trade and investment partners, and underscored the potentials and needs for sustained cooperation in many other fields, especially in infrastructure development, digital economy, high technology, green growth, renewable energy, creative industries and smart agriculture. They stressed the need to continue creating favorable conditions for each other's respective stakeholders engaging in investment and business activities.
9.The two Parties pledged to continue to fully and effectively implement the Viet Nam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and improve the access to the market of each other's Party, by removing unnecessary and unjustified trade restrictions. They also agreed to maintain the effective implementation of the Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation and strive to soon bring two-way trade value to US$7 billion.
10.Viet Nam welcomed the adoption by the Italian Parliament of the law on the ratification of the EU - Viet Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), which will create favorable conditions for investors from both parties, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. The Italian Party acknowledged Viet Nam's recent efforts in seriously and thoroughly implementing the EC's recommendations in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
11.The two Parties commended Italy's continued ODA for Viet Nam over the past years and welcomed the expansion of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation Office in Hanoi in charge of the region, as well as Italy's new strategy to promote development cooperation with ASEAN and Viet Nam.
12.The two Parties welcomed Viet Nam's strong commitments at COP26 to achieving net-zero by 2050. They also reaffirmed the existing cooperation in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on mitigation and adaptation to climate change signed in 2018. In this context Italy and Viet Nam are developing the project "Set up and implementation Geo-Information System for Climate Change Vulnerability, Risk Assessment and Environment monitoring for Vietnam based on remote sensing Technology". As a G7 member, Italy reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Viet Nam's Government in the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) through technology transfer, financial support, institutional development and human resource training for Viet Nam during the transition.
13.The two Parties underscored that science and technology is a priority area for bilateral cooperation. They reaffirmed the need to maintain the Joint Commission for Science and Technology Cooperation and accordingly implement cooperation programs. They welcomed the recent call for proposals for the three-year program 2024-2026 in specific areas of common interest, such as agriculture and food science, climate change and sustainability, information society, space science and earth observation, technologies for conservation and restoration of natural and cultural heritage.
14.The Vietnamese Party welcomed the Italian proposal to broaden the resources and activities of "Casa Italia" under the new denomination "Casa Italia - Italian Institute of Culture in Hanoi".
15.The two Parties highly appreciated the cooperation in education and training, which contributes to fostering exchanges and mutual understanding between the young generations and students of the two countries. They agreed to maintain the Action Programme on Educational Cooperation and the Higher Education Forum implemented by the two countries. Viet Nam called on Italy to increase scholarships for Vietnamese undergraduate and graduate students, support projects aiming at enhancing training, research and teaching capacity for Viet Nam lecturers. The two Parties welcomed cultural and artistic exchanges and expressed their high appreciation for the common logo and the events celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the Viet Nam - Italy Strategic Partnership in 2023.
16.The two Parties expressed satisfaction over the recent development of the relationship between local authorities and businesses of the two countries, especially the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding between Vinh Phuc province and the region of Tuscany. They welcomed, among others, the engagement and increased exchanges between Hanoi City and the city of Rome, Binh Duong province and the region of Emilia Romagna, Quang Tri province and ENI, as well as between other localities and businesses of the two countries.
17.The two Parties applauded the bridging role of each country's resident community, and their contributions to the host country. They agreed to give attention and support to these communities to live, study and work stably in each respective country, as well as protect their legitimate rights.
18.The two Parties pledged to step up exchanges of views, collaboration and mutual support at international and regional fora, especially at the United Nations, ASEAN - EU mechanisms. The two Parties supported the building of a strong and prosperous ASEAN Community that plays a central role in the regional architecture as well as the strengthening of the ASEAN - Italy Development Partnership and the ASEAN - EU Strategic Partnership. The two Parties agreed to continue working to maintain Asia-Europe dialogue and cooperation, including through ASEF.
19.The two Parties exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest. They reiterated the importance of: preserving peace, security, stability and freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea; enforcing in good faith and responsibly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS); settling disputes by peaceful means; refraining from the threat or use of force; respecting diplomatic and legal processes in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS. The two sides also emphasized the universal value and integrity of UNCLOS and reaffirmed that the UNCLOS is the comprehensive legal framework governing all activities in the seas and oceans.
20.The two Parties committed to strengthening coordination to shape an ASEAN-centered regional architecture, which is open, inclusive, transparent and upholding international law.
21.The two Parties underscored the need for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law.
22.On this occasion, the two Parties welcomed the recent signing of the Treaty on Extradition and the Agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons between the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the Italian Republic and witnessed the signing of the Cultural Cooperation Program between the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the Government of the Italian Republic for the period of 2023-26, the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance between the Supreme People's Procuracy of Viet Nam and the Ministry of Justice of Italy, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding between the People's Committee of Vinh Phuc Province and the region of Tuscany./.