|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (4th from R) and President of the French Senate Gérard Larcher (4th from L) at their meeting in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam has constantly worked to deepen its traditional friendship, trust and strategic partnership with France, said the Vietnamese Prime Minister.
Expressing his delight at the strong development of the Vietnam-France strategic partnership across fields, the PM affirmed that France is a leading trade, investment, and ODA partner of Vietnam in Europe. He hoped the sides further step up their all-level delegation exchange and cooperation, particularly in economy, commerce, and investment.
He suggested that the two sides focus on fully and effectively implementing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to take advantage of the great opportunities it offers.
He wished France to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese exports, especially agricultural and aquatic products, to access the French market; and encouraged French firms to continue investing in Vietnam in such areas they have strengths as digital and green transformation, and renewable energy.
The government leader said Vietnam hopes that France will soon complete the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in order to create a driving force for promoting investment relations between the nations on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, hence favourable conditions for French enterprises to invest and do business in Vietnam.
He also requested that France support Vietnam in having the EC’s yellow-card warning for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing soon removed.
PM Chinh proposed that the French side consider increasing the number of scholarships for Vietnamese students; and facilitating student and researcher exchange. He also called for stronger cultural cooperation and more support from France for Vietnam's restoration, maintenance, and preservation of local French cultural relics and UNESCO-recognised heritage.
The PM also asked his guest to back collaboration between Vietnamese and French localities in areas of France’s strength like clean water, environment, and afforestation.
He hoped the French authorities will further create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese expatriate community, whose population amounts to some 300,000.
Agreeing with Chinh’s proposals, Larcher stated that Vietnam plays a very important role in France's foreign policy and France will continue to do its best to promote the bilateral friendship and cooperation toward practical outcome and effectiveness.
Emphasising that economic, trade and investment collaboration is always a bright spot in the Vietnam-France ties, the Senate President thanked the Vietnamese Government's goodwill for always assisting and facilitating French businesses to seek opportunities and expand their operations in Vietnam for mutual benefits.
Larcher affirmed that France will take practical actions to aid Vietnam in stepping up joint works with the EU in economy, trade and investment, among others.
France wishes to further team up with Vietnam in such areas as agriculture, food security, transportation, and culture, education-training, and preservation and restoration of architectural and cultural works, he added.
He pledged to hold discussions with leaders of French relevant agencies with regard to the EVIPA and yellow card issues.
The two leaders stressed the importance to ensure freedom, security and safety of navigation and aviation, and to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea and affirmed that disputes must be settled by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).