Vietnamese Ambassador hails thriving relationship and reliable partnership with France

April 12, 2023 - 14:49
Ambassador Thắng highlighted the traditional relations between the two countries and their diverse, multi-sectoral cooperation, which have been strengthened and developed comprehensively.
Vietnamese Ambassador to France Đinh Toàn Thắng speaks at an exhibition featuring photos of Việt Nam held in Honfleur in France. VNA/VNS Photo Thu Hà

PARIS — The relationship between Việt Nam and France has been thriving, and the two countries have become reliable partners of each other, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Đinh Toàn Thắng said in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties and ten years of the strategic partnership.

Ambassador Thắng highlighted the traditional relations between the two countries and their diverse, multi-sectoral cooperation, which have been strengthened and developed comprehensively.

He said that France remains a leading partner of Việt Nam in Europe and the world at large, stressing that France highly values Việt Nam’s position in the region and in strategies and policies that the European country is implementing in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific.

Thắng noted that the two countries had maintained regular exchange mechanisms in politics, economy and national defence. A range of agreements have been signed, creating a legal foundation for bilateral collaboration in priority areas.

The frequent delegation exchanges and meetings between Vietnamese and French leaders on the sidelines of international conferences over the past reflect the close bilateral political ties.

The ambassador emphasised economic cooperation between the two countries as France is the leading European ODA supplier of Việt Nam, and Việt Nam ranks second among France’s ODA recipients in Asia with total commitments amounting to US$18.4 billion from 1993.

Two-way trade more than tripled within ten years, reaching $5.3 billion in 2019. Over 300 French businesses operate in the Southeast Asian nation in various sectors, while several Vietnamese firms have landed their investments in France.

Thắng also pointed to strong bilateral cooperation in higher education, with hundreds of agreements inked by universities and research institutes of the two countries and some 7,000 Vietnamese students in France now.

He said that health care also forms a key cooperation area, adding that collaboration between localities has been expanded with the participation of 24 France localities and 33 cities and provinces of Việt Nam.

He described the 12th Việt Nam-France conference on decentralised cooperation, slated for April 13-14 in Hà Nội, as a vivid demonstration of the vitality of cooperation between Vietnamese and French localities.

According to the diplomat, the two countries have many favourable conditions to enhance their ties.

The diverse partnerships at different levels, positive cooperation outcomes, and common perceptions on visions of the strategic partnership have laid the important ground for partners of the two sides to deepen and expand their connectivity, he continued.

Thắng also cited common points in the foreign policies of the two countries and the reciprocity of the two economies as another advantage, saying both countries play a key role and position in their regions.

Given emerging challenges in post-COVID-19 economic recovery and development, he suggested partners of the two countries make greater efforts and take measures to meet the new requirements of both nations.

He said that cooperation coordination mechanisms should work more effectively to orient and help partners of the two sides expand cooperation and well implement relevant programmes and projects, proposing that relevant agencies and partners of both sides work out specific programmes and plans in key cooperation spheres.

Gemalink International Port in Phú Mỹ Town, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, is the only deep-water port in the Cái Mép-Thị Vải area invested by Gemadept Joint Stock Company (Việt Nam) and CMA-CGM Group (France). VNA/VNS Photo

For investment, he said solutions are needed to attract more French investments in multiple fields in Việt Nam, from high-tech, economic sectors, digital transformation, health care and pharmaceuticals to traditional industries like car manufacturing, renewable energy, infrastructure construction, public transport, high-quality agriculture, food processing, environment-related sectors, among others.

He noted that the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement, which came into force on August 1, 2020, has generated great opportunities for the two countries to boost their economic and trade links.

The ambassador urged Vietnamese businesses to revamp production to satisfy quality standards and catch up with the development trends of Europe and France. Meanwhile, French enterprises should put forth more methodical strategies and set aside more resources to promote their presence in Việt Nam and optimise the market to expand their regional reach.

In addition, he emphasised cooperation in education and training, explaining that youngsters will help tighten the relations comprehensively and create new ideas for new cooperation projects, meeting the interests of both nations in a rapidly-evolving world.

“It can be said that there are substantial opportunities for Việt Nam and France to elevate their relations in the coming years,” he said.

The determination of leaders, the support of people from all walks of life and the active engagement of partners in all fields have raised hope for intensive, extensive and effective development of the Việt Nam-France in the future, he said.

The two countries should fully promote cooperation to contribute to the relations between Asia and Europe, and between ASEAN and the EU, with untapped potential, and contribute to building a world of harmony and peace. — VNS