Vietnam, France Seek to Bolster Strategic Partnership

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his French counterpart Elisabeth Borne compared notes on ways further strengthen the Vietnam-France strategic partnership, especially in economy, trade and investment during their telephone conversation on November 28.
November 29, 2022 | 08:26
Vietnam, France Seek to Bolster Strategic Partnership
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Photo: VGP

PM Chinh affirmed that Vietnam attaches great importance to the relations with France, an important member of the European Union (EU), and took the occasion to thank the French Government and people for providing 5.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam, VietnamPlus reported.

PM Borne suggested that the two sides work closely together to make the bilateral strategic partnership deeper, more substantial and effective through the exchange of delegations at all levels, the optimisation of existing cooperation mechanisms and the implementation of activities to mark important milestones of their ties in 2023.

The two PMs agreed that economic cooperation is an important pillar in the Vietnam-France strategic partnership. They reviewed the progress of major joint projects, especially the Nhon-Hanoi Station urban railway, sharing a hope that the elevated part of the project will be put into operation by the end of this year.

Borne expressed her hope to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam in the fields of digital economy, digital transformation, infrastructure and especially renewable energy, and agreed to promote full and effective implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to optimise opportunities it brings in.

Vietnam, France Seek to Bolster Strategic Partnership
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. Photo: AFP

PM Chinh proposed that France create favourable conditions for Vietnamese farm produce to approach the French market and that France ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in an early date to boost the bilateral investment partnership, while hastening the European Commission to soon remove the yellow card against Vietnamese fisheries.

Welcoming outcomes of bilateral cooperation in the fields of culture, education and health care over the years, he urged France to increase the number of scholarships for Vietnamese students, contributing to enhancing people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, while supporting Vietnam in the restoration and preservation of UNESCO-recognised cultural heritage.

The two leaders discussed a number of regional and international issues of shared concern, pledging to continue coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums.

They reaffirmed the significance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea), and the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

On this occasion, PM Chinh invited PM Borne to visit Vietnam. The French leader accepted the invitation.

Design of the Nhon-Hanoi Station urban railway line (Photo courtesy of the Hanoi Urban Railway Project Management Board)
Design of the Nhon-Hanoi Station urban railway line. Photo courtesy of the Hanoi Urban Railway Project Management Board

At a recent reception for newly-appointed French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said Vietnam wishes to continue receiving French support to promote stronger cooperation with the EU, Nhan dan (People) newspaper reported.

For his part, the ambassador said President of the French Senate Gérard Larcher is looking forward to his official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Hue, adding the embassy and the French Senate are actively preparing for the trip.

Hue stated that the Vietnamese NA welcomes and attaches great importance to the visit of the President of the French Senate, which will be an important event celebrating the 50th founding anniversary of Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, and 10 years since the two countries lifted their relations to a Strategic Partnership in 2023.

He expressed the belief that Larcher’s visit will contribute to deepening the Strategic Partnership between the two countries and the friendship and cooperation between their legislatures./.

France is always one of the top trade partners of Vietnam in the EU. Two-way trade grew by 15.7% annually on average during 2011-2019. France is now the fourth largest importer of Vietnam in the EU with a share of nearly 10% of the country’s exports to the region, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Vietnam’s exports to France include footwear, apparel, household appliances, agro-forestry-fisheries, gemstones, jewelries, electronics, mechanical engineering tools, rubber, coal, plastics, bamboo and rattan items.

Meanwhile, Vietnam mainly purchases high-value and hi-tech goods from France, such as pharmaceuticals, machinery and equipment, and vehicles.

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