France chooses Việt Nam as leading strategic partner in Asia and around the world

July 23, 2018 - 09:00

On the occasion of the French National Day, Ambassador Bertrand Lortholary sends a message to highlight the excellence of the Franco-Vietnamese relationship.

Ambassador Bertrand Lortholary (centre) highlights the excellence of the Franco-Vietnamese relationship. — Photo courtesy of the embassy
Viet Nam News

On the occasion of French National Day, Ambassador Bertrand Lortholary sends a message to highlight the excellence of the Franco-Vietnamese relationship.

The year 2018 marks the double anniversary: the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and Việt Nam and the 5th anniversary of our bilateral strategic partnership.

The outstanding level of our relationship is illustrated this year through an unprecedented sequence of visits at the highest level between our two countries.

In March, at the invitation of the President of the Republic, France welcomed, on an official visit, the highest leader of Việt Nam, Nguyễn Phú Trọng, secretary general of the Vietnamese Communist Party. During this visit, the Secretary General met the four highest French leaders (President, Prime Minister, President of the National Assembly and President of the Senate) and took part in the commemoration of the signing of the Paris Agreement of 1973.

On the occasion, the two countries adopted an ambitious declaration which focuses on the development of economic relations, the strengthening of their partnership in the fields of education and youth, the core issues raised by climate change, and finally deepening our defence partnership.

On the economic and trade level, numerous and substantial agreements have been signed (amounting to more than US$11 billion), confirming the ongoing dynamics of our exchanges. This momentum will be further emphasized by the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement, which we hope to sign as soon as possible.

In the fields of culture and youth, 2018 is also showcasing a succession of events around our common memory and respective cultures whose diversity can be appreciated both in Việt Nam and in France.

This year is also marked by several flagship projects such as the inauguration of the new Lycee Francais in Hà Nội, the most modern of all French high schools in the world, and the Maison de France in HCM City.

The Francophonie, especially its transmission to the youngest, is more than ever a priority for France and its French-speaking partners in Việt Nam. This is why I am very happy and proud that the French and Vietnamese anthems were performed by students from two schools in Hà Nội (Nguyễn Tri Phương Primary School and Lê Quý Đôn Middle School) who are learning French in bilingual classes since the age of six, with seven hours a week dedicated to the French language.

As for defence, the port call by French navy forces last spring for an unprecedented third consecutive year reflects the convergence of our strategic interests in the region. Other significant initiatives between our two countries have already been planned and will confirm this dynamic.

The deep ambition that France and Việt Nam have for their relationship will be marked in the coming months by major new steps with high-level visits, including President Macron of the French Republic.

2019 will also witness another important milestone in our relationship with the hosting in Toulouse of the decentralized Franco-Vietnamese co-operation assembly. This meeting will illustrate the friendship and ties that unite not only our two countries, but also our people and our territories.

More than ever today, France has chosen Việt Nam. Our country considers your country a leading strategic partner in Asia and around the world. We are determined to intensify our efforts with the Vietnamese authorities so that the shared vision of our relationship will lead tomorrow to new important milestones benefitting our two countries, their shared history and our people whose ties have always been and will remain of a singular power. — VNS