(VELINO) Roma, 23 Sep - Speaking to PEI news, the ItalianConsul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Carlotta Colli, commentedon the new consulate saying, "This Consulate General is theresult of a desire to elevate and strengthen our institutionalpresence here to assist our businesses in consolidating theiractivities and in order to monitor the markets, identifying newtrade and investment opportunities for companies not yetpresent here." The diplomat added that "there is a great dealof interest and a great commitment to strengthen cooperationwith Vietnam, in particular with Ho Chi Minh City, which is thecountry's commercial and financial centre, one of the new'border economies' and in recent years has increasinglyattracted the attention of Italian companies. Many businesseshave made productive investments in Ho Chi Minh City and in theBinh Duong Province. To this one must add the expressions ofinterest we receive every day from small and medium-sizedcompanies looking to the Vietnamese market." In this scenario,issuing entry visas for Italy directly in Ho Chi Minh City,especially business visas, will be a driving force for economiccooperation, contributing to closer relations between the twocountries. Finally, one should not forget that every economicpresence corresponds to the development of a community ofcompatriots who live here, and it is important to be able toguarantee them not only full assistance in emergencies, butalso consular services. The Italian community in this area nowhas 350 members and a rising number of temporary residents."The consulate also hopes to "facilitate and increase the numberof visas to Vietnamese citizens issued for business andtourism, supporting trade and in view of Milan's EXPO2015.""The consulate will work to become a reference point for youngVietnamese who are interested in Italy and in our culture, inparticular students from the city's Language and ItalianCulture Department, with whom we are discussing activities tobe added to their studies. We will work in order to reconcileeconomic growth objectives with the culture we have to offer,"said the consul. vel.