Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – French and Vietnamese companies signed two trade agreements at the France – Việt Nam Business Forum held in HCM City yesterday to mark the visit of French President Francois Hollande.
Drug company Sanofi signed an agreement to extend and strengthen its partnership with Vinapharm. The new strategic partnerships covers all locally manufactured medicines marketed by Sanofi in Việt Nam and products exported to countries in the Asia Pacific.
The agreement is expected to take effect by year-end subject to government approval.
Vinapharm will invest in Sanofi Vietnam Shareholding Company, which owns a new, good manufacturing practices-certified facility.
The US$75 million plant will not only produce 150 million batches of drugs per a but also be a centre of excellence in the Asian region. It constitutes Sanofi’s largest investment in ASEAN member countries to date.
“Sanofi has been present in Việt Nam for more than 50 years and has achieved the number 1 position in the pharmaceutical sector,” Philippe Luscan, the company’s executive vice president, global industrial affairs, and president in France, said.
“This new agreement between Sanofi and Vinapharm will expand and enable easier access to healthcare for Vietnamese. This also reflects the strong economic and scientific relationship between France and Việt Nam in healthcare.”
In the livestock sector, Neovia Việt Nam and their partners Grimaud Group and Le Boucher signed a partnership with the Animal Husbandry Association of Việt Nam to help improve quality set up a value chain to be called “Le Pork Du Mékong”.
Amid a strong demand for food safety and traceability, this collective and responsible commitment will enable the development of a pork production controlled at all levels.
More potential to come
At the forum, delegates agreed there is huge potential for companies from the two countries to expand co-operation, especially when a free trade agreement between Việt Nam and EU comes into effect in 2018.
French Minister of State for Commerce, Small-Scale Industry, Consumer Affairs and the Social and Solidarity Economy Martine Pinville said Việt Nam has the highest growth in the region.
Together with Singapore, it is the most open to foreign investors, she said, promising that France would walk hand-in-hand with Việt Nam during its development.
France would help Việt Nam wrap up the free trade agreement with EU after which co-operation between the two countries in many sectors like drugs, agriculture and food would become more convenient.
Nicolas Du Pasquier, president of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry Việt Nam, said Việt Nam needs to revamp its banking sector as well as public services to optimise its potential and attract investors, including from France.
He said the country’s dynamism has been evident since it began its “đổi mới”.
With average growth of over 6 per cent a year, a stable economy and a growing middle class, the country needs to develop sectors like transportation, healthcare, education, and food to have products of better quality, he said.
Nguyễn Thanh Phong, chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, said the city’s doors are always open to French investors.
The city’s relations with France have strengthened year after year, he said.
As of July France had185 projects in HCM City worth $848 million.
Trade between the city and France rose by 8.5 per cent last year to $746 million. - VNS