Home » Italy eyes Vietnam, Indo-Pacific region’s strategic value

Italy eyes Vietnam, Indo-Pacific region’s strategic value

The Defence Undersecretary welcomed his Vietnamese counterpart in Rome to discuss shared dossiers at the Defence and Policy Dialogue. The effort is part of Italy’s growing outreach in the Indo-Pacific region and its intention to bolster security and economic ties

The Italy-Vietnam contact. On Monday, Italy’s Undersecretary of State for Defence, Matteo Perego di Cremnago, met with Vietnam’s Deputy Defence Minister, General Hoang Xuan Chien, in Rome. The two took part in the fourth edition of the Defence and Policy Dialogue, a standing Italo-Vietnamese forum, and marked the importance of the 50-year-long relationship between the two states.

  • The Dialogue, as an Italian Defence note explains, is centred on strengthening defence cooperation, promoting the capabilities of Italy’s defence industry, and creating links between Italian defence industries and Vietnamese decision-makers.

Looking East. “The Indo-Pacific region has the fastest-growing economies in the world and accounts for 62% of the world’s GDP; it is the second largest destination for EU exports and hosts four of the EU’s ten main trading partners,” said Undersecretary Perego Di Cremnago, remarking the region’s relevance for Italy’s national interest – which, in turn, means “there is every interest for the regional architecture to remain open and rules-based.”

  • “There is great potential to intensify Italy-Vietnam relations in the defence sector with the aim of achieving mutual benefits,” he added. “In the aftermath of the pandemic and in this complex geo-strategic situation generated by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, we must all remain focused on creating conditions for a comprehensive, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic recovery in all sectors.”

A widening engagement. The contact happened as part of the Italian government’s push to intensify its presence in the Indo-Pacific in both the security and the economic dimensions with a range of regional actors, striking strategic partnerships with the likes of IndiaJapan and Uzbekistan, expanding ties with more countries (including, but not limited to Taiwan and Tajikistan) and setting the stage for increased diplomatic activity.

  • Meanwhile, Italian naval assets have been deployed to sail into Indo-Pacific waters. Most recently, the Morosini offshore vessel reached Japan to engage in joint training and demonstrate Rome’s commitment to the area.

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