Ambassador Nicolas Warnery sends a message to hail the friendship between two countries. — Photo courtesy of the embassy
This year's France's Bastille Day took place in unprecedented circumstances. Ambassador Nicolas Warnery sends a message on the friendship between Việt Nam and France:
Bastille Day usually means a special reception at the embassy and general consulate where we like to gather the Vietnamese and the French community. There will be no party this year due to obvious reasons directly linked to the coronavirus. Firstly, we are willing to stay cautious even though we are fortunate enough to live in a country where there has been no community transmission for more than two months. Secondly, we want to express our solidarity with our country since France has been hit quite strongly by the pandemic. In these peculiar circumstances, July 14 is dedicated to the victims, the people who are still sick and the caregivers. In Việt Nam, we continue to follow closely the situation for French expatriates and tourists. Our teams from the embassy and the consulate have been deeply involved throughout the crisis and helped more than 1,500 people fly back to France.
The mask donations from our Vietnamese friends are another display of solidarity and an illustration of the deep ties between our countries. Both the spontaneity and the generosity of these donations made a strong impression on us. All of the donators have a connection with France, whether they studied there, are an institutional stakeholder with a fondness for France, or practised medicine there, one thing is certain: they made the value of solidarity really tangible. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
In this special context, the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Việt Nam organised an event for the July 14 revolving around French gastronomy and economic recovery, but this was not an official reception.
Việt Nam holds the ASEAN Chairmanship until the end of 2020 and is a privileged partner for France within this regional organisation as well as in the Indo-Pacific region. Việt Nam is likely to become France’s reference partner in Southeast Asia and, conversely, France could become Việt Nam’s reference partner in Europe.
We want to strengthen our economic bilateral trade, something the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement should allow us to do. Our countries are already committed to great projects in infrastructure, transport, as well as energy. We need to go further and faster. The French side has big expectations.
Furthermore, we want to deepen our environmental co-operation. France wants to help Việt Nam on numerous subjects such as coastal erosion, the sinking of the Red River and Mekong deltas and rising river salinity. We need to address the climate challenge in its wholeness, which is why we encourage research in this crucial field for the future of Việt Nam. The IRD, French Institute for Research and Development and the CIRAD, international co-operation centre for agronomic research for development are involved in all the country. We also intervene further in the process with the AFD, the French agency for development, which will invest 1 billion euro in the next five years with its strategy '100% Paris Agreements' that aims at protecting the environment.
We also want to continue and broaden our co-operation, relying on the historical and deep ties that have made Việt Nam the focal point of Francophony in Southeast Asia.
We aim to promote cultural exchanges between France and Việt Nam. A few days ago, we opened the renovated headquarters of the French Institute of Huế, a beautiful project that participates to this dynamic. I am really glad to see that events such as Baladeen France that took place in Hà Nội in January or the Fête de la Musique in June resonate with the youth.
Our co-operation is also very important in the academic sector. In addition of the PFIEV, which federates French-Vietnamese engineering formation and the CFVG that does the same for management, I would like to shed light on the Hanoi University of Science and Technology that celebrated its 10 year anniversary and the project of a European University of Management, that is very important to us.
I also want to mention our health co-operation, a strong asset of our bilateral relations that is rooted in history. Great numbers of doctors and experts have benefitted from our exchanges. Today, with the coronavirus crisis, we have to adapt: we communicate through teleconferences that could be a way to broaden the audience for this co-operation.
Finally, we have developed strong ties with Hà Nội, where structuring and strategic projects that will benefit the population are developed: the line No 3 of the metro, a transport development scheme, the extension of Hà Nội’s airport, the creation of a wholesale market, the Long Biên bridge restoration or the rehabilitation of the shores of Hoàn Kiếm Lake. VNS
Sunset view of Eiffel Tower, Alexander III Bridge and-River Sein in Paris. — Photo courtesy of the embassy