National Assembly Chairman Nguyễn Sinh Hùng (right) received President of the French National Assembly Claude Bartolone in Hà Nội yesterday. – VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sáng
HÀ NỘI (VNS) — Vietnamese and French legislature leaders have pledged their utmost efforts to bring legislative ties between the two countries to a new height by facilitating high-level visits.
National Assembly (NA) Chairman Nguyễn Sinh Hùng and President of the French National Assembly Claude Bartolone made the promise during their talks in Hà Nội yesterday, which took place right after a welcoming ceremony.
NA Chairman Hùng thanked the French NA for its support in attaining global economic integration, bilateral collaboration and Việt Nam–EU ties, saying that it was decisive for the two countries’ development.
The Vietnamese legislature is aligning its legal regulations with the 2013 Constitution, including those involving the economy, trade and investment. The Vietnamese law always protects the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, including those from France, according to the chairman.
He also proposed increased co-ordination across transport, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and science, as well as education, health care and personnel training, thereby raising mutual understanding between the two peoples.
According to Hùng, both sides should heed national defence-security links to maintain peace and security in the region and the world.
To deepen the bilateral strategic partnership, the top Vietnamese legislator said the ruling Parties, NAs, Governments, Joint Committees, and especially businesses and localities, should strengthen exchanges and form partnerships in their strongest fields.
Bartolone hoped that the Party, NA and Government of Việt Nam would continue reinforcing political and diplomatic bilateral ties, including their socio-economic and cultural aspects.
He also agreed to his host’s proposal to assist Việt Nam in ensuring maritime security and protesting militarisation in the East Sea.
The French NA leader described respect for international law as crucial to preventing maritime trade losses in the East Sea as well as reducing undesired tension, and informed his host that the French legislature recently approved a cooperation agreement between Việt Nam and the European Union.
Energy, water and pollution treatment are among France’s strengths and the country is willing to partner with Việt Nam in these fields.
France will promote bilateral personnel training and stands ready to assist Việt Nam in medical technology transfer and French language training, making it easier for Vietnamese students to pursue education in the country.
In the afternoon, Chairman Hùng hosted a banquet for President Bartolone and his entourage.
Hope for more cooperation
On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc hosted President of the National Assembly of France Claude Bartolone.
Believing the visit will greatly contribute to the country’s strategic partnership, Phúc highlighted the sound relationship between Việt Nam and France and called it a foundation to capitalise on their potential and advantages.
He said he hoped they would intensify co-operation across the board and reinforce the strategic partnership in a results-oriented fashion.
As France is a big European investor in Việt Nam, the Deputy PM confirmed that the Vietnamese Government was ready to provide the best possible conditions for the two countries’ businesses to access each other’s markets, particularly for French investment in Việt Nam.
He asked France to speed up some investment projects and continue the provision of official development assistance to Việt Nam. He said he hoped France would help tighten the Southeast Asian country’s connections with the European Union (EU).
French NA President Bartolone voiced his belief that bilateral ties would be consolidated on the basis of their long-standing friendship, with the same sentiments applying to Viet Nam’s relations with the EU.
He noted a great number of French enterprises’ investments in Viet Nam and asked the local Government to streamline procedures to facilitate their operations.
In addition, both sides boasted great potential in various spheres such as energy and the environment, and France was willing to co-operate with Viet Nam in those areas, the guest added.
President of the French National Assembly Claude Bartolone said that during his ongoing visit, he wants to hold exchanges with Vietnamese agencies to determine ways to increase the investment of French businesses in Việt Nam.
The visit also aims to balance the bilateral trade deficit, which is leaning towards the European country, he said at a press conference in Hà Nội yesterday.
Bartolone noted that a number of French businesses are making effective investments in Viet Nam in the fields of goods distribution, medicine and transport.
He said he hoped there would be more opportunities for French enterprises to invest in Viet Nam, especially in their strengths, such as high technology, energy-saving measures and the environment.
The French National Assembly ratified the Việt Nam-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) on Thursday, he noted.
Bartolone said he was pleased to visit Việt Nam following high-level delegation exchanges between the two nations.
He said that before the visit, he met with French President Francois Hollande, who expressed wishes to visit Việt Nam in the latter half of 2016.
The French NA leader added that he was happy that the visit would fall on International Francophone Day on Sunday.
He stressed that Viet Nam was a significant member of the Francophone movement, saying that over 7,000 Vietnamese students were pursuing an education in France, while an increasing number of French students were studying in Viet Nam.
The visit was also a chance for him to study regional issues, including those relating to the East Sea, he said, reiterating France’s viewpoint of supporting the respect for international law, especially those set by the United Nations, to ensure navigation and aviation freedom in the region.
The French top legislator witnessed a signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on receiving French volunteers at Viet Nam’s general education institutions.
The MoU inked between Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Vinh Hiển and French Ambassador to Việt Nam Jean Noel Poirier aims to build a bilateral co-operation framework to support the teaching and learning of French in Việt Nam.— VNS