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Vietnam and France to bring bilateral relations to new height
Hai Yen 21:16, 2021/11/04
The move is of significance as both countries would celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of strategic partnership by 2023.

Vietnam and France would jointly draft an overall plan that serves as a foundation to further take bilateral relations to a new height.

 Overview of the meeting. Source: VNA

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his French counterpart Jean Castex shared the view in a meeting on November 3, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

The two leaders stressed the importance of enhancing the exchange of high-level delegations, improving the effectiveness of dialogue mechanisms, expanding cooperation in all fields, strengthening close coordination in regional and international issues, actively supporting each other at multilateral forums, and increasing the frequency of flights linking the two countries.

They also welcomed the organization of the 12th Vietnam-France decentralized cooperation conference in Hanoi in 2022.

Chinh and Castex agreed to implement practical measures to create more favorable conditions for bilateral trade exchanges and support the two countries’ businesses and goods to penetrate each other's market.

They proposed measures to promote cooperation projects in key fields, build long-term industrial partnerships on the basis of high technology transfer and mutual benefit, especially in the fields that France has strengths and Vietnam has demand.

The French PM asked Vietnam to create favorable conditions for French businesses to invest and implement cooperation projects in Vietnam, strengthen defense-security cooperation, and promote relations between National Assembly agencies, promote collaboration in research, science, and technology, and continue facilitating operations of the French Institute in Vietnam.

Chinh welcomed France's proposals, affirming that Vietnam wishes France’s effective support and cooperation. He thanked France for maintaining its commitment to official development assistance as well as providing preferential financial resources for Vietnam. He suggested France maintain and further promote the implementation of health projects, and intensify bilateral cooperation in education – training.

He expressed hope that France will create more favorable conditions for the exchange of students,  and grant more scholarships to young Vietnamese.

 Two leaders witness the signing of contracts between businesses from both sides. 

The two prime ministers also exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual concern, including the East Sea issue, stressing the need for countries to contribute to maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity, and ensuring safety, freedom of navigation and aviation, and peaceful settlement of international disputes on the basis of international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).

Castex spoke highly of the fact that Vietnam's successfully assumed its role as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and once again thanked Vietnam for supporting France’s bid to become ASEAN’s development partner.

Meanwhile, Chinh thanked France for its support and coordination at multilateral forums and for making efforts to urge the European Commission (EC) to soon remove its "yellow card" warning against Vietnamese fisheries.

The two sides agreed to actively implement the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), accelerate the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), in order to create momentum for trade and investment between Vietnam, France, and the EU.

Prime Minister Chinh also shared the outcomes of the high-level Vietnamese delegation's attendance at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) that just concluded in the UK. He announced that Vietnam has committed to building and implementing policies and measures to promote international cooperation, and hopes that developed countries, including France, will continue to support Vietnam in this field.

Chinh invited the Castex to visit Vietnam and conveyed the invitation from President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to President Emmanuel Macron to visit the country.

Following the meeting, both prime ministers witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements and large-scale economic contracts, including the cooperation between Vietnam’s Justice Ministry and the Council of State in 2021-2026; memorandums of understanding (MoU) in fields of smart city, digital identification and cyber security between VNPT and Thales, as well as deals between Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways of Vietnam and Safran worth up to billions of US dollars.

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