PARIS — The sound political relations between Việt Nam and France will pave the way for bilateral cooperation in other fields, Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Việt Nam Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân and President of the National Assembly of France Richard Ferrand agreed during their talks in Paris on April 1 (local time).
Ngân said her ongoing official visit to France aims to maintain and further develop the bilateral strategic partnership and parliamentary ties, especially realising the commitments reached by the two countries’ leaders on inter-parliamentary cooperation.
She said friendly relations between Việt Nam and France have been developing strongly and sustainably, particularly since the two sides set up a bilateral strategic partnership in 2013.
Việt Nam always attaches great importance to relations with France in its foreign policy and hopes the two nations will continuously work together to deepen their collaboration, she added.
The economic cooperation is a priority pillar in the bilateral strategic partnership, Ngân said, adding that France is Việt Nam’s third biggest investor with US$2.8 billion and fourth biggest trade partner in Europe with $5.1 billion.
Việt Nam highly appreciates France’s policy of enhancing economic partnership with the Southeast Asian country. More than 200 French enterprises are operating in Việt Nam, Chairwoman Ngân said, asking the two sides to support businesses to access their respective markets.
At the talks, the NA Chairwoman praised cooperation between Vietnamese and French localities as a special feature in bilateral relations. On the occasion, a conference on the collaboration between the two countries’ localities, its 11th edition, will take place in Toulouse, France, with the participation of 20 Vietnamese localities. It aims at boosting diverse engagement in contribution to the development of the Việt Nam-France strategic partnership.
Appreciating France’s support to strengthening Việt Nam – EU ties, Ngân asked France, as Việt Nam’s strategic partner, to assist the country in speeding up the signing and ratification of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which will benefit all sides involved.
She also requested the French side back the lifting of EU’s "yellow card" warning to Việt Nam, adding that the country is making efforts in implementing related EU recommendations. The NA has approved the revised Law on Fisheries, which better responds to international law on the protection and conservation of aquatic resources. The law came into force on January 1, 2019.
Both leaders expressed their delight at robust growth recorded between the two countries’ law-making bodies. Bilateral relations have thrived recently, with an increased number of visits by their high-ranking leaders taking place. In March last year, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee Nguyễn Phú Trọng paid an official visit to France, while French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe made an official trip to Việt Nam last November. At the moment, the official visit to France by the NA Chairwoman is ongoing.
Following his visit to Việt Nam in 2018, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe relished the prospects for the development of Việt Nam-France relations, President of the National Assembly of France Richard Ferrand said, suggesting both sides work together to identify prioritised sectors and outline rational cooperation measures to boost bilateral relations in an effective manner.
He spoke highly of Việt Nam’s role in the region and ASEAN, and expressed his support for collaborative relations at the local level.
Regarding the EVFTA, the official stressed the French Government and National Assembly support the early signing and ratification of the pact, noting that both sides should work more to accelerate the official signing.
Hailing the sound cooperation between civil aviation corporations of the two countries, with a line-up of large contracts inked, he said that cooperation in the field is a vivid illustration of Việt Nam-France relations.
Meanwhile, NA Chairwoman Ngân affirmed that Việt Nam stands ready to coordinate with the French National Assembly to bolster bilateral cooperation, making contributions to deepening the good friendship between the two countries.
At the talk, Ferrand accepted the Vietnamese NA Chairwoman’s invitation and said that he will visit Việt Nam with a parliamentary and business delegation to further the cooperative ties.
The French National Assembly always welcomes the Vietnamese NA to come to France to exchange experience, he added. —VNS