The Chamber of Commerce of Italy yesterday opened a representative office in Hanoi to promote trade relations between the two countries.
Tomaso Andreatta, chairman of the chamber (Icham), said: “Today is an important day for Icham. It is a step towards providing the coverage and services our association has to offer here.”
“Although Italian companies have discovered Vietnam relatively late compared to companies from other European countries, we strongly believe that the Italian enterprises would have a good business in Vietnam,” he said
Similarly, Hanoi People’s Committee vice chairman Can Viet Anh said the office would open new opportunities for cooperation between the two countries’ businesses.
He pledged to create favourable conditions for Italian enterprises doing business in Vietnam.
Icham has gained many achievements since its foundation two years ago with over 40 member companies, representing both large and small Italian companies in Vietnam.
Among them, there are the two largest Italian banks, Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit, Vespa manufacturer Piaggio, Ariston, Carvico, Datalogic, Bonfiglioli Riduttori, Perfetti and Rino Mastrotto.
Many Italian businesspeople claim geographical and cultural distances and the lack of information about Vietnam had stopped many firms from dropping anchor in Vietnam.
Costantino Sambuy, general director of Piaggio Vietnam - one of the first Italian companies to open a representative office in Vietnam, hoped that Icham would help exchange information between the two sides.
“Vietnam had always been very dynamic and promising potential opportunities for Italian investorsin the coming times,” he said.
Bilateral trade between the two countries has remained small, close to $1.5 billion in 2009.
Vietnam exported $780 million worth of products to Italy encompassing seafood, wood products and agricultural products. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s imports from Italy reached $675 million in manufacturing, steel and medicine.