Hanoi – Italian enterprises are seeking business opportunities in Vietnam, especially in leather, footwear and interior décor, sectors which are expected to benefit once the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is signed.
In a recent interview with Dau tu (Vietnam Investment Review), Director of the Italian Trade Commission in Vietnam Paolo Lemma expressed optimism about the EVFTA, which he said will open up opportunities for Italian firms.
Regional Director of the firm, Comelz Italy Fabrizio Bellagamba described Vietnam as its fastest-growing market globally.
Comelz Italy offers cutting machines for the leather, footwear and handbag sector and established a representative office in Vietnam in 2012. It sold 100 machines in 2017 and 140 since early this year.
In the near future, it hopes to sell more machines to manufacturers that want to improve their competitiveness and join the global supply chain.
Recently in Ho Chi Minh City, 26 Italian businesses displayed their machinery and equipment at the Vietnam International Exhibition on Shoes and Leather 2018, with most of the firms already having their own network of distributors, agents and representative offices in Vietnam.
According to the Italian Trade Agency, Italy’s export of leather and footwear neared 440 million EUR last year, up more than 10 percent annually from 2016. The Vietnam market alone posted a two-fold increase with 30 million EUR.
Earlier in the last half of 2017, the Vietnam – Italy shoe technology centre was put into operation in the southern province of Binh Duong. It is equipped with the latest and most modern machinery and technologies directly imported from Italy and Europe, making it easier for small and medium-sized Vietnamese enterprises to develop new products.
Seven well-known Italian wood furniture firms, namely Badari Lighting, Cantori, Diemme Cucine, Formitalia, Officina Luce, Sicis and Versace Home, also recently arrived in Vietnam to explore the market.
Over the past three years, Vietnam’s interior décor imports have grown by 33 percent on average each year. Among interior décor exporters to Vietnam, Italy ranked first in Europe and third globally, accounting for 7 percent of the market share.
Chairman of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Icham) Michele D’ercole said Italy chooses Vietnam as a strategic gateway to trade and investment in Asia thanks to its favourable geographical location and easy links with other regional countries.
He added that Vietnam imported interior décor worth 15.6 million USD from Italy last year, which is expected to expand by 33 percent in 2018.
Managing Director of Icham Vietnam Pham Hoang Hai said Italian businesses have high hopes for the Vietnamese market thanks to its growth pace.