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HCM City, French Alps form bonds

Update: December, 22/2012 - 10:02

HCM CITY (VNS)— Officials of the French region of Rhone-Alpes are encouraging Vietnamese businesses to invest in renewable energy, green technology and environmentally friendly works.

Speaking at a seminar in HCM city this week, Bernard Soulage, vice president of the regional council of Rhone-Alpes, said the region also wanted to work with other Vietnamese industries, including tourism and bio-technology.

Soulage said he was impressed with HCM City's development. "The city is a reliable partner in sustainable development," he added.

He noted that during the Vietnamese – French Friendship Year and the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the two countries' diplomatic ties in 2012, there will be a series of events and exchange activities that will be held.

Nguyen Huu Tin, deputy chairman of the city's People's Committee said the two sides had worked on urban planning and the environment.

HCM City is a driver behind the country's economic growth, with GDP increasing by 8.7 per cent for the first nine months of the year, 1.8 times higher than the nation's GDP.

FDI projects in HCM City account for one-third of the total of the country's FDI projects.

"The sustainable development of HCM City is based on internal forces but also on forces from outside," he said. "Therefore, we attach much importance to cooperation with foreign countries, including France and the Rhone-Alpes region in particular."

The two countries plan to create a strategic-partner cooperation next year.

By the end of November this year, bilateral trade between HCM City and France reached US$658 million.

France also has 122 investment projects in HCM City worth $763 million, and ranks as one of the 10 biggest foreign investors in the city.

The number of French tourists has increased yearly. In 2011, the city welcomed more than 100,000 French tourists.

Aymeric PONS, director of the Enterprise Rhone-Alpes International (ERAI)'s representative office in Viet Nam, said the ERAI, created in 1987 at the initiative of the Rhone-Alpes regional council, was the region's spearhead for international economic development.

It promotes and supports the development of Rhone-Alpes' companies in international markets and helps foreign businesses that invest in France. — VNS

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