|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (right) welcomes the visiting President of the French Senate Gérard Larcher in Hà Nội on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam attaches special importance to cooperation with France which is an important partner in Việt Nam’s foreign policy, stated Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính while hosting President of the French Senate Gérard Larcher in Hà Nội on Thursday.
Việt Nam had constantly worked to deepen its traditional friendship, trust and strategic partnership with France, he noted.
Expressing his delight at the strong development of the Việt Nam-France strategic partnership across fields, the PM affirmed that France was a leading trade, investment, and ODA partner of Vietnam in Europe. He hoped the sides would further step up their all-level delegation exchange and cooperation, particularly in economy, commerce, and investment.
He suggested that the two sides focus on fully and effectively implementing the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to take advantage of the great opportunities it offers.
He wanted France to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese exports, especially agricultural and aquatic products, to access the French market; and encouraged French firms to continue investing in Việt Nam in such areas they have strengths as digital and green transformation, and renewable energy.
The government leader said Việt Nam hoped that France would soon complete the ratification of the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in order to create a driving force for promoting investment relations between the nations on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, hence favourable conditions for French enterprises to invest and do business in Việt Nam.
He also requested that France support Việt Nam in having the EC’s yellow-card warning for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing soon removed.
PM Chính proposed that the French side consider increasing the number of scholarships for Vietnamese students; and facilitating student and researcher exchange. He also called for stronger cultural cooperation and more support from France for Việt Nam’s restoration, maintenance, and preservation of local French cultural relics and UNESCO-recognised heritage.
The PM also asked his guest to back collaboration between Vietnamese and French localities in areas of France’s strength such as clean water, environment, and afforestation.
He hoped the French authorities would further create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese expatriate community, whose population amounts to some 300,000.
Agreeing with Chính’s proposals, Larcher said that Việt Nam played a very important role in France's foreign policy and France would continue to do its best to promote the bilateral friendship and cooperation toward practical outcome and effectiveness.
Emphasising that economic, trade and investment collaboration is always a bright spot in the Việt Nam-France ties, the Senate President thanked the Vietnamese Government's goodwill for always assisting and facilitating French businesses to seek opportunities and expand their operations in Việt Nam for mutual benefits.
Thanking Việt Nam for supporting his country’s cooperation with ASEAN countries, Larcher affirmed that France would take practical actions to aid Việt Nam in stepping up joint works with the EU in economy, trade and investment, among others.
France wished to further team up with Việt Nam in such areas as agriculture, food security, transportation, and culture, education-training, and preservation and restoration of architectural and cultural works, he added.
He pledged to hold discussions with leaders of French relevant agencies with regard to the EVIPA and yellow card issues.
Agreeing it is necessary to ensure freedom, security and safety of navigation and aviation, and to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea, the two leaders affirmed the settlement of disputes must be done by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). — VNS