The government views Asean as an "indispensable" partner and believes "great unexplored potential" exists to further boost Italian investment in the regional trade bloc, premier Giuseppe Conte said Thursday during a visit to Vietnam.
"We view Asean as an indispensable partner," Conte said in his opening address at the third High-Level Dialogue on Asean-Italy Economic Relations meeting in Hanoi.
Italians invested five billion euros in Asean in 2017, Conte said, adding that there was "a wide margin for improvement".
"We can exploit this great unexplored potential by strengthening industrial cooperation," Conte underlined.
The number and level of the participants at The High-Level Dialogue event showed Italian companies' and the Italian government's growing interest in the Asean area, said Conte.
"The Asean integration process is important for the stability of the region and the world. Italy believes in effective multilateralism," he said.
"Given the global challenges we now face, no country can act alone."
The High-Level Dialogue on Asean Italy Economic Relations is being attended by ministers and business leaders as well as the heads of European and Asian institutions.