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Mar 24, 2022 / 16:38

Vietnam supports close economic cooperation among Francophone members

Francophone countries with a population of 1.2 billion people and accounting for 16% of the GDP and 20% of the global trade, hold huge potential in economic cooperation.

Vietnam fully supports the efforts of the Francophonie (the Organisation international de la Francophonie – OIF) to push for greater economic cooperation among its member states.

 Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh. Photos: VGP

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh gave the remarks at the Vietnam-Francophone high-level economic forum held today [March 24] in Hanoi.

The event drew the participation from Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, Gabon’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Charles Mve Ella, OIF General Secretary Louise Mushikiwabo, and business representatives from over 20 Francophone member states who are on a visit to Vietnam.

According to Minh, Francophone countries with a population of 1.2 billion people and accounting for 16% of the GDP and 20% of the global trade, hold huge potential in economic cooperation, especially at a time when member countries are trying to push for socio-economic recovery.

Minh said Vietnam as an active and responsible member of the OIF continues to support its efforts in strengthening economic cooperation for sustainable development and prosperity of all members.

The deputy prime minister noted Vietnam has now shifted its Covid-19 response to safe and adaption to the pandemic since last October and recently reopened borders to international tourists since March 15.

“The Vietnamese Government has put in place many policies and solutions to address the business concern for economic rehabilitation, especially the socio-economic recovery program with a focus on reopening the economy in close association with greater healthcare capabilities; ensuring social welfare and job creation; supporting business recovery; investing in infrastructure development; and improving the business environment,” Minh said.

Thanks to such efforts, Vietnam’s economy has posted strong performance from a contraction of 6% in the third quarter of 2021 to a positive 5.22% in the subsequent quarter, taking the 2021 GDP growth to 2.58%.

FDI commitments to Vietnam in 2021 rose by 9% year-on-year to $31 billion. During the first few months of 2022, the macro-economic conditions have remained stable with high state budget revenue.

Minh added socio-economic recovery would not be feasible without the active participation of the business community.

“The Vietnamese Government, therefore, has been working on recommendations from businesses and finalize the legal framework to create the utmost favorable environment for both foreign and domestic companies in Vietnam,” Minh continued.

 Overview of the forum. 

Cooperating in key fields

On this aspect, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son noted his ministry with a network of 90 diplomatic missions abroad stands ready to support foreign companies, including those of Francophone, to do business in Vietnam, and also Vietnamese businesses in their investment abroad in fields of agriculture, manufacturing and processing, clean energy and digital services.

Minh highly regarded the OIF in implementing initiatives under the Francophone Economic Cooperation Strategy in 2020-2025 of which Vietnam serves as a coordinator.

OIF General Secretary Louise Mushikiwabo said the organization aims to cooperate with the Vietnamese Government on three key fields to enable businesses further integrate into the global value chains, including agriculture, innovation, and digitalization.

Mushikiwabo noted bolstering cooperation between enterprises in the Francophone would further raise the contribution of the group to global trade to over 20%, as well as higher investment capital across the world.

The realization of such a vision would not only benefit each member of the Francophone but also to realize the global target for sustainable development, she added.

Mushikiwabo noted Vietnam remains an important member of the Francophone, and among the founders of the OIF.

She congratulated Vietnam’s achievements in global integration and remains among the fastest-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, adding Vietnam is the first destination in this region that the Francophone’s economic and trade delegation chose to visit.

The Vietnam-Francophone high-level economic forum, taking place from March 24-25, serves as the platform to map out the strategy and business opportunities. At the sidelines of the forum, business matching sessions under the B2B format to facilitate trade-economic cooperation between the Francophone businesses and their Vietnamese partners are being held.