Việt Nam looks to expand relations, trade within Francophone community

November, 22/2022 - 16:45
Vice President Xuân also met French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba, Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel, Secretary General of the International Organisation of la Francophonie (OIF) Louise Mushikiwabo, and Quebec Premier Francois Legault.

  

Vietnamese Vice President Võ Thị Ánh Xuân (right) held talks with Senegalese President Macky Sall. — VNA/VNS Photo

DJERBA — Vietnamese Vice President Võ Thị Ánh Xuân held meetings with leaders of countries and international organisations within the framework of the 18th Francophonie Summit in Djerba, Tunisia, on November 19-20 to promote bilateral and multilateral relations with partners.

Meeting with Senegalese President Macky Sall, the Vietnamese leader said the country always attached importance to relations with Senegal. She suggested the two countries increase the exchange of all-level delegations, expressing thanks to Senegal – President of the African Union (AU) in 2022 - for supporting Việt Nam in establishing relations with the union.

The two leaders agreed to further deepen bilateral relations in various fields, prioritise the early signing of a bilateral agreement to create a legal framework for long-term cooperation between the two countries, and strengthen mutual support at international and regional forums, including the AU and ASEAN.

Vice President Xuân with Swiss President Ignazio Cassis. — VNA/VNS Photo

​In the meeting with Swiss President Ignazio Cassis, the Vietnamese Vice President congratulated the European country on its election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2023-2024 tenure, while spotlighting the fruitful development of the Việt Nam-Switzerland relations in recent years.

Ignazio Cassis stated that Switzerland always attached great importance to relations with Việt Nam. He agreed with Việt Nam's priority proposals on the need for countries to accelerate negotiations towards signing a free trade agreement between Việt Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member.

The two sides discussed specific measures to deepen bilateral relations, agreed to strengthen cooperation at multilateral forums and organisations and involve themselves in solving global issues related to peace, security, food security, energy, climate change, and water security.

Meeting Vice President Xuân, Slovenian President Borut Pahor affirmed his support for Việt Nam's proposal for Slovenia and the European Union (EU) to ratify soon the EU–Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), to create a more decisive impetus for trade and investment cooperation between Việt Nam and the EU.

The leaders said there was great potential for the two sides to promote cooperation, especially in mechanics, automation, food processing, transportation services, and seaport development. They also made specific proposals to enhance cooperation and mutual support at important multilateral mechanisms, contributing to solving common world issues.

During the 18th Francophonie Summit, Vice President Xuân also met French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba, Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel, Secretary General of the International Organisation of la Francophonie (OIF) Louise Mushikiwabo, and Quebec Premier Francois Legault.

Vice President Xuân meets French President Emmanuel Macron. — VNA/VNS Photo 

Also within the summit's framework, a Việt Nam delegation attended the Francophonie Economic Forum (FEF) in Djerba on November 20-21.

Themed "For a shared growth in the Francophone space", the forum was organised by the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA-Tunisia) in partnership with the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tunisia (CCIT), to boost economic cooperation among the French-speaking countries in many fields, including investment and digitalisation.

It attracted the participation of representatives from 80 member states and observers of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF).

Talking to Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of the forum, General Secretary of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Trần Thị Lan Anh said that Việt Nam had to date traded with 44 out of the 54 official members of the OIF.

The trade turnover between Việt Nam and French-speaking countries reached US$33 billion last year, up 36.5 per cent year-on-year, and $24 billion in the first eight months of this year.

The VCCI would continue stepping up trade and investment promotion activities with organisations of French-speaking countries and increase the provision of information for Vietnamese businesses so that they would have more chances to connect with partners in these nations, she added. — VNS

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