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PM Dung leaves for official visit to France

Update: September, 23/2013 - 08:58
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is scheduled to leave Viet Nam today to start his three-day official visit to France from September 24-26.— Photo VGP

HA NOI (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is scheduled to leave Viet Nam today to start his three-day official visit to France from September 24-26.

The visit is made at the invitation of French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Dung will also attend the High-level Meetings of the 68th Session of the United Nation General Assembly on September 26-28, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In an interview with the Viet Nam News Agency, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Duong Chi Dung has described the forthcoming establishment of a Viet Nam-France strategic partnership as a new milestone.

Both sides have set up a strong development framework on the back of nearly 20 co-operation deals and a series of dialogues and consultations.

Despite global financial woes, France remains an important European trading partner for Viet Nam, with last year's two-way trade hitting US$3.7 billion, up 13 per cent from 2011.

The country remains the biggest European investor in Viet Nam, with over $3 billion in direct investment.

Viet Nam is now the second largest partner of France in terms of official development assistance (ODA) with total ODA commitments reaching more than $1.5 billion since 1994.

The diplomat hailed co-operation between nearly 50 Vietnamese and French localities over the past 20 years, which spans urban planning, vocational training, tourism, culture and the environment. More than 300,000 overseas Vietnamese people live in France.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, both nations are holding a 2013-2014 Exchange Year, in which a France Year in Viet Nam will last from April-December of this year; and a Viet Nam Year in France will run from January-September 2014; offering a variety of political, economic, trade, education, culture, art and sport activities.

French President Francois Hollande's visit to Viet Nam is scheduled in 2014. — VNS

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