So said Renato Darsie, Chairman of the Italy - Vietnam Friendship Sub-Association in the Veneto region, in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency.

He described the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship (March 23, 1973 - 2023) as an important milestone marking the growing friendship and political, economic, and cultural ties between the two countries.

Renato Darsie (right), Chairman of the Italy - Vietnam Friendship Sub-Association in Veneto, presents the right to use the Vietnamese cultural center to a representative of Vietnamese students in May 2022.

Bilateral relations over the last 50 years are those of solidarity and friendship across the board as seen in the Italian people’s assistance to Vietnam during the resistance wars against the French colonialists and U.S. imperialists, along with mutual support in the international arena on the basis of common interests.

Since the elevation of relationship to a strategic partnership in 2012, cooperation has been thriving in all spheres. Bilateral trade rose to 6.2 billion USD in 2022 from 1.4 billion USD in 2013. Collaboration in education and training remains one of the priorities as both sides have been facilitating links between their universities and educational establishments, according to Darsie.

He went on to say that to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties, the Italy - Vietnam Friendship Sub-Association in Veneto will send a delegation to the Southeast Asian nation this April to help its members learn more about the local culture and history.

It is also working with the Italian and Vietnamese embassies in the two countries to carry out some initiatives, including holding a Vietnamese culture week in Venice in June.

Also in the Italian city this October, the sub-association and the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice will release a study of tides on rivers in Ho Chi Minh City. The study, conducted in coordination with the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment, will help the Southern metropolis of Vietnam cope with flooding.

The school, which also organizes courses on the Vietnamese language and history, is also planning to introduce a study on the country’s traditional music, the Chairman noted.

As Vietnam is now in an economic boom, Italy should boost cooperation with Vietnam, especially in investment, he suggested, adding that Italian enterprises boast advantages for investing in Vietnam since both countries share many similarities, from population, climate, geographical locations to cuisine, as well as the close-knit ties between the two peoples.

Vietnam should also invite experts in the fields Italy is strong at to help with specialized issues during each economic development stage, he recommended.

In 2013, Darsie was honored with the Vietnamese State’s Friendship Order in recognition of his tireless contribution to the countries’ solidarity, friendship, and cooperation.

Source: VNA