HCMC – Vietnam’s President Vo Van Thuong, accompanied by his spouse, will begin a six-day, three-nation Europe tour this Sunday.
At the invitation of Austrian President Alexander Van der Belle, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, and Pope Francis, President Thuong will have an official visit to Austria, a state visit to Italy, and a visit to the Vatican, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a press release.
Austria established diplomatic relations with Vietnam in 1972. In 2021, bilateral trade between the two countries totaled US$3.35 billion, up 5.5% against 2020. However, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, two-way trade in 2022 declined 16.7% to US$2.79 billion.
Vietnam and Italy established diplomatic relations following the execution of the Paris Convention in 1973, which was upgraded to a strategic partnership in January 2013. Vietnam is Italy’s largest ASEAN trade partner while Italy is the fourth largest EU trade partner of Vietnam.
Vietnam and the Vatican have not yet established official diplomatic ties. However, in March of this year, Deputy Foreign Minister Le Thi Thu Hang visited the Vatican, engaging in discussions on bilateral relations and matters pertaining to the Catholic Church of Vietnam.
Both sides expressed their appreciation for the substantial progress made in the relationship between Vietnam and the Vatican, including periodic contact and consultation, high-level delegation exchanges, and frequent visits by non-resident representatives, the Vatican envoy, and Archbishop Marek Zalewski.