The Hanoitimes - Economy, education, culture and local cooperation are the main contents of the French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe’s visit to Vietnam from November 2 to 4.
On the eve of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe’s visit, Director General of the European Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dinh Toan Thang confirmed that the visit plays the important role in the context of the fact that the bilateral relationship has seen positive developments stemming from the desire to bring relations to a higher level.
The visit takes place when the two countries have commemorated the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam-France diplomatic relations as well as the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the Strategic Partnership.
It is also the second high-ranking visit between the two nations in 2018, following by the successful visit to France of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in March this year.
According to Director General Dinh Toan Thang, the main contents of exchange between leaders of the two nations will be to deepen cooperation, especially the strategic partnership. The two sides will also discuss the orientations for developing bilateral cooperation and coordination on multilateral forums.
Vietnamese Party Chief Nguyen Phu Trong and French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe
Thang said that during the embargo period imposed by the US, France was one of the leading countries that strongly supported Vietnam. This effort promoted the cooperation process in vigorous deployment along with Vietnam's renewal, development and international integration.
"The Vietnam – France relationship is gaining momentum, which can be recognized through high-level exchanges between the two sides, cooperation in various fields, cooperation between ministries and localities. At the same time, France’s President Emmanuel Macron has paid his attention to implementing more effectively and dynamically the policies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Vietnam welcomes this strategic deployment by France and expects the development of the Vietnam-France Strategic Partnership both on a bilateral and multilateral basis", Director General Thang said.
He tipped that economics, which is a focus of Vietnam – France cooperation, will be discussed by the leaders of the two countries during the visit.
France is the fifth largest European trading partner of Vietnam besides Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Italy. In 2017, two-way trade reached US$ 4.6 billion (up 11.6% compared to 2016), of which the export turnover to the French market was US$ 3.35 billion (including mainly footwear, textiles, porcelain, rattan, bamboo, seafood, machinery and electronic components).
France is a leading bilateral ODA donor for Vietnam and Vietnam is the second largest recipient of French’s ODA in Asia with total committed capital of US$18.4 billion.
In addition, according to Director General Thang, bilateral cooperation in defense, security, health, culture, education and training, science and technology sectors will also be discussed during the visit.
Since the early 1980s, Vietnam-France cooperation in education and training has been established and developed. France always considers education and training a priority for cooperation with Vietnam. Both sides have deployed a number of key projects in the field of training such as the program of high quality engineers training in Vietnam, the project of establishing two French University centers in Hanoi National University.
During the visit, the French Prime Minister will meet the Chairmen of the People's Committee of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as well as exchange with many businesses of both sides.
Director General Thang shared that local cooperation is an important field that leaders of the two countries want to see strong and practical development. Director General Thang said local cooperation can be considered a characteristic of Vietnam – France bilateral relations with the participation of nearly 50 provinces and cities. In 2016, the 10th Vietnam-France Local Cooperation Meeting was held in Can Tho. In April 2019, the 11th Vietnam-France Local Cooperation will be held in Toulouse city of France.