(AGI) Hanoi, Nov 21 - Italy will help small and mediumbusinesses in south Vietnam improve their competitiveness, saidthe director of Italian Cooperation in Vietnam, RiccardoMattei. "Italy is strong in the production of furniture,footwear, clothing, food and machinery. We are ready to providetechnology for Vietnamese companies," he said at a meeting withthe people's committee of Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Naiprovince. Italy will supply 15 million euros in low-interestloans and 200,000 euros via the United Nations IndustrialDevelopment Organisation for technical assistance projects inthe provinces of Dong Nai and Binh Duong, and in Ho Chi MinhCity. Italy has set up a project to increase thecompetitiveness of Vietnamese small and medium enterprises(SMEs) by creating a centre for free corporate training. Thevice president of Dong Nai province said that training andtechnology transfer were the areas in which Italy could givethe most help. The UN agency led a technical assistance projectfor Vietnamese SMEs between 2009 and 2011, with 3 million eurosprovided by Italy. .