The German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week made a two-day state visit to Vietnam, to Hanoi and to Ho Chi Minh City. In addition to political and trade agreements signed between the two countries, Angela Merkel, during the meeting with the Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, stressed that a stronger commercial exchange between the European Union was the real need of the hour. Germany is the main European trading partner of Vietnam and has always supported the creation a Free Trade Agreement between EU and Vietnam: through the direct intervention of the German Chancellor, one augurs that the process of negotiation shall speed up.
Italy should employ stronger efforts to increase its trade relations with Vietnam. According to data supplied by ISTAT, our exports reached 512 millions Euros in 2007, 448 millions in 2008 and 482 millions in 2009, while imports amounted 694 millions in 2007, 803 millions in 2008, and 701 millions in 2009. Comparing Italian exports in the first half year of 2009 and first half of 2010, there was an increase of 27.9% (from 213 millions in 2009 to 272 in 2010). In the same period, imports increased by 3%. Germany's trade flows with the Asian country are much stronger: during the first semester of 2011, German exports reached 807 millions Euros.
These figures should encourage our institutions and our investors to consider Vietnam as a very valuable opportunity for the Italian economy.