|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính had talks with outgoing French Ambassador to Việt nam Nicolas Warnery on Thursday in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam always considers France one of its priority partners based on sincerity and trustworthiness in its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and diversification of ties, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính told outgoing French Ambassador to Việt nam Nicolas Warnery during a reception in Hà Nội on Thursday.
Speaking highly of the Ambassador and the French Embassy’s contributions to the Việt Nam-France strategic partnership, PM Chính said France now ranks second among European Union members in terms of investment in Việt Nam, with a total registered capital of about US$3.57 billion, fourth in trade exchange and first in provision of ODA assistance to Việt Nam, with a total concessional loan of 3 billion euros. Two-way trade reached $5.3 billion last year, up 10 per cent year-on-year.
Việt Nam always values France's role and voice on the international stage, as well as bilateral cooperation at multilateral forums, he said, adding that Việt Nam actively supports France's initiatives and ideas aimed at contributing to maintaining peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
In order to bolster bilateral ties, the Vietnamese PM suggested both sides continue facilitating high-level contacts, exchanges and visits between their leaders, and fully and effectively tap opportunities brought about by the Việt Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
He proposed that France promptly ratify the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) to optimise bilateral cooperation potential in investment.
The Vietnamese leader wished for stronger ties in new areas such as renewable energy, high technology, digital economy, green growth, circular economy, climate change response, and greenhouse gas emission reduction, particularly in the production of equipment for renewable energy industry. He also hoped for increased collaboration in culture, education, human resource training, and preservation of architectural heritages in Việt Nam.
The host asked France to help push the European Commission (EC)’s early removal of yellow card warning against Vietnamese aquatic products, and continue committing ODA and concessional loans to Việt Nam.
The PM said he believes that in any position, the Ambassador will always be a close friend of Việt Nam, serving as a bridge to foster traditional friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries.
Warnery, for his part, affirmed that French leaders wish to further deepen relations with Việt Nam. He also acknowledged Việt Nam's important role in ASEAN and in the implementation of France's Indo-Pacific Strategy.
Agreeing with PM Chính's proposals, he said he will report and discuss with relevant French authorities to continue reinforcing all-around ties, particularly in politics, trade-investment, education-training, sci-tech, and preservation of French architectural heritages in Hà Nội, such as the Long Biên Bridge.
Hailing Việt Nam's efforts in achieving climate change response goals, especially the recent issuance of the Power Development Master Plan VIII, he said France will actively assist Việt Nam in this field, especially in the implementation of the Political Declaration on the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP).
On global and regional issues of shared concern, Warnery affirmed that France supports ASEAN and Việt Nam's stance on ensuring security, safety, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea), and settling disputes through peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). — VNS