His Excellency Ambassador Cao Chinh Thien
For The Progress Time
by Ivan De Stefano
Your Excellency the Ambassador, how long have You been covering Your diplomatic role in Italy, and what is Your experience of it?
I began my posting in Rome as Vietnamese Ambassador from September 2015. In my long carrier as a diplomat, I have been in many country but I have to say that Italy is one of the best, a beautiful country, stretched between the Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea. During my visits to several places in Italy, I have had the opportunity to admire the beautiful landscapes along the routes as well as renowned places such as Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre and of course the Eternal City which is Rome. I feel lucky for the opportunity to be here in such amazing country with friendly people, which has a heroic history and a long tradition of arts, architecture and gastronomy.
What are the cultural meeting points between Vietnam and Italy?
Vietnam and Italy share many similarities in the history and also in recent pasts. Both countries have struggled for freedom and peace. Vietnam has received precious supports from Italy and Italian people during our quest for independence and during the reconstruction process of our country. People of Vietnam and Italy are both cheerful, friendly, pacifist and very dedicated to the development and welfare of their country.
Can You tell us about the current situation in regards to the economical exchanges between Italy and Your country?
Trade exchange between Italy and Vietnam increased continuously in the past 10 years. In 2015, it stood at 4.3 billion USD with an increase of 6% against 2014, with export from Vietnam at 2.86 billion USD (a rise of 4% compared to 2014) while export from Italy stood at 1.46 billion USD (an increase rate of 9% against 2014). We see many opportunities for enterprises from both countries because the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Vietnam has been signed recently, ready to enter in force and Vietnam is member of many trade agreements with interesting markets, such as the TPP, ASEAN Free Trade Area, FTAs between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
What strategies have You been adopting to promote Your country both economically as well as culturally and touristically?
Cultural and tourism promotion are among the priorities of our Embassy. We strongly believe that excellent cultural and tourism cooperation are the bases for a strong bilateral relationship. We have organized many activities in recent years, such as Vietnam Cultural Days in Milan, Venice, Torino, the participation of Vietnam to Milan Expo 2015, fashion shows in Rome and gastronomy activities in many cities in Italy. Along with the Embassy, the Vietnam – Italy Friendship Association with their committees in several cities of Italy actively organized and participated to cultural activities in their cities. This year and next year, we will continue our program of promotion of Vietnam culture in Italy, to encourage Italian people to visit our country and to support the activities to be organized by the Vietnam – Italy Friendship Association.