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Video message of the Consul General of Italy in Ho Chi Minh City, Dante Brandi on the occasion of 75th Italian National Day



Video message of the Consul General of Italy in Ho Chi Minh City, Dante Brandi on the occasion of 75th Italian National Day

HCMC, 2nd June 2021 - Video message of the Consul General of Italy in Ho Chi Minh City, Dante Brandi, from the Museum of Fine Arts on the occasion of the photographic exhibition "Italian Routes".

Full speech

Fellow Italians, dear Vietnamese friends.

The pandemic prevents us from celebrating the 75th Italian National Day with the usual reception.

That is why I wish to do it through this video-clip, shot in the splendid HCMC Museum of Fine Arts, where two parallel exhibitions are on display: “Italian Routes” and “Landscapes of Vietnam”, by Italian and Vietnamese photographers, about mountains, mountaineering and climate change.

This double exhibition is not just a way to reflect on global challenges through the arts.

It is also a symbolic bridge between Italy and Vietnam. A bridge the Consulate General of Italy in HCMC is committed to build every day, along with the other Italian institutions in Vietnam: Embassy, Italian Trade Agency (ITA), Italian Chamber of Commerce (ICHAM), Agency for Development Aid (AICS), Uni-Italia.

This symbolic bridge rests on several, solid pillars.

The economic one, with the assistance we provide to Italian and Vietnamese companies to fuel economic relations in sectors such as fashion, food, machinery, furniture, design. They will benefit in the future from the liberalizations provided by the free trade agreement with the European Union, to reach the goal of $ 5 billion in trade and consolidate Vietnam's position as Italy's leading trading partner in Southeast Asia.

The cultural one, with the exhibitions you can see here, but also with music, art, literature, cinema, promotion of the Italian language, celebrations of authors like Dante Alighieri, whose 700th anniversary of death occurs this year. Initiatives that we have also nurtured in recent months, without being able to travel and dealing with restrictions and social distancing.

The scientific and development cooperation pillar, with the kick-off of 11 research projects between Italian and Vietnamese institutions, seminars on topics such as the climate crisis, initiatives in the areas of prevention of extreme weather events, satellite monitoring of the territory and conservation of cultural heritage.

The political one, which - as Ambassador Alessandro recalled - in the framework of the strategic partnership this year celebrated the Bilateral Economic Commission and, just a few days ago, the political consultations at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers. These events have made it possible to set up joint action plans on many sectors and to examine the complex international situation by comparing the experiences of Italy as president of the G20 and co-president of the COP26 Climate Conference, and of Vietnam as a member of the United Nations Security Council.

These pillars are solid because they rest on deep roots, and this allows the two countries to project themselves into the future, as the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella recently recalled.

A very significant message also for me personally, as I celebrate the last Italian National Day as Consul General of Italy in Ho Chi Minh City. It pushes me to renew my commitment to make the Consulate General of Italy in Ho Chi Minh City a point of reference both for the Italian community and for Vietnamese friends interested to Italy. A point of reference that helps us to project ourselves into the future, so we can be ready to multiplying the opportunities for collaboration and experiencing emotions together, when we will leave the pandemic behind thanks to vaccines and we will start meeting and traveling again.

The Consulate General will be ready mainly thanks to partnerships with many amazing Vietnamese counterparts, who have assured us of support over the years, not only in Ho Chi Minh City, but throughout the consular jurisdiction.

I would like to thank them all, but it would take too long here. I therefore want to mention the initiatives that are particularly close to my heart, due to their ability to involve the younger generations. In fact, they will be the ones to build and consolidate the symbolic bridge between Italy and Vietnam.

And therefore I am very happy to witness the growth of the Italian Department at the HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities, where a lecturer with extra-academic assignments is about to arrive - thanks to the commitment of the Italian government.

Just as I am proud to witness the growth of Reggio Emilia's pedagogical approach throughout Vietnam for the benefit of early childhood education in this country.

The Vietnam-Italy Alumni project, recently promoted by the Consulate General thanks to the enthusiasm of many members, will instead help consolidating the increasing community of Vietnamese friends who have completed their higher education in Italy.

They are three powerful instruments to bring more Italy to Vietnam and nurture relationships that are based above all relationships between two peoples who have many things in common, starting with shared values like the importance of family life.

Talking about our peoples, let me close by recalling how the Italian National Day is above all a celebration for the Italian Nationals. My greetings and my invitation to celebrate together go therefore to the Italian community in Ho Chi Minh City and in South-Vietnam. It has been an honor to serve as your Consul General and I bid you farewell, dear fellow Italians, with my heartfelt gratitude for the support you have always ensured to the Consulate General, for your spirit of initiative, your solidarity, and for the precious contribution you give every day to both Italy and Vietnam with your qualified work.

Long live the Republic of Italy and the friendship between our two people!