Vietnam-Italy: Opportunities and Challenges

Distinguished Vice Minister Vuong,
Distinguished Minister Belloni,
Distinguished Ambassador Long,
Distinguished Director Ha,
Colleagues and Honourable Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of UNIDO, I want to welcome you to this Round Table and thank you for your much appreciated participation. The great interest showed by Italy and by the entrepreneurial delegation present here today demonstrates that Vietnam is a priority in our agenda. Please allow me to also express our gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for having hosted this event.

At a time when so many international economic difficulties are coming to the attention of the entire world, we, as UNIDO, firmly believe that the objective of developing countries should be a sustained and sustainable economic growth. This is largely because international trade and investment have a much more crucial role today than ever before in fostering growth and prosperity. To better understand this, I would like to share a message of hope, citing a quote of Ho Chi Ming: “Remember, the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability.”

As most of you know, UNIDO has been supporting developing countries like Vietnam to achieve sustainable industrial development, as it has been clearly demonstrated with the implementation of the SME Cluster Development Project, financed by the Italian Cooperation and successfully implemented by our Organization.

We also know that to improve industrial productivity growth in developing countries, we need to mobilize investments, technologies, and managerial know-how, as well as improving the average skills and efficiency levels of industry to expand productive assets.

Today’s event represents a valuable opportunity for Italy and Vietnam to start working together.

Italy is a country with a production model based mainly on small and medium enterprises, grouped in districts, that have demonstrated great flexibility even under the most difficult circumstances. This is a country where constant innovation of the productive processes of the enterprises can offer the best solutions in terms of technology and know-how to a great number of sectors, which can perfectly match the needs of Vietnamese enterprises. As evidence of this, let us take the example of the woodworking sector. Our work in this field has proven to be a success, as demonstrated by the number of representatives of Italian companies who are sitting at this table and seek to consolidate their relationship with their Vietnamese counterparts.

Ho Chi Minh also said that “to reap a return in ten years, plant trees. To reap a return in 100, cultivate the people.” And yes, we, in UNIDO, are also investing in people, by training Vietnamese entrepreneurs here in Italy to help them acquire the tools needed to improve the management and production of their companies.

I sincerely hope that this Round Table will provide a clear picture of the opportunities for both Vietnamese and Italian industries. Furthermore, I hope that the Joint Declaration that my office will sign today with the Agency for Industrial Promotion of Vietnam will facilitate increased cooperation among all the involved parties, in order to build a solid bridge through which Italy and Vietnam can continue working together.


Thank you all again.


Your Excellency Ambassador Long, the floor is yours.