|National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân (right) had a meeting with President of the Senate of France Gerand Larcher in Paris on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
PARIS — National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân has stated that Việt Nam attached importance to co-operation with Europe, with France as a priority partner.
During a meeting with President of the Senate of France Gerand Larcher in Paris on Tuesday, Ngân said there were 200 French businesses operating in Việt Nam, while France was the country’s fourth largest European trade partner.
Việt Nam wanted France to raise its position among the countries and territories investing in the country, she said.
The legislator said that she and the Vietnamese NA delegation had held a working session with the France-Việt Nam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group and 15 major French businesses, adding that there would also be activities between the two countries’ enterprises during her visit to the city of Toulouse.
According to Ngân, French companies felt secure investing in Việt Nam.
A number of firms had been operating in Việt Nam for over two decades and were seeking opportunities in diverse areas, which was the reason why the two countries needed to reinforce political-diplomatic ties in order to pave the way for economic links, she said.
The guest hoped that with its position and role in Europe, France and its Senate would support the strengthening of ties between Việt Nam and the European Union (EU), including the signing and ratification of the European Union-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
The French Senate leader reiterated two important milestones in France-Việt Nam ties, which were the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1973 and a strategic partnership in 2013. Together with growing bilateral political and diplomatic ties, economic partnership had seen good progress and was a focal point under discussion at the co-operation conference between Vietnamese and French localities held in Toulouse the same day.
Lauding Việt Nam’s geopolitical importance and recalling Việt Nam’s successful hosting of the second DPRK-USA summit, Larcher said Việt Nam played a significant role in co-ordinating political activities in the region.
He thanked the Vietnamese leader for inviting him to visit Việt Nam, saying it would afford the two legislatures a chance to strengthen ties, thereby bolstering future joint work between the two nations, especially in economics.
With regards to the EVFTA, he affirmed the Senate’s support for Việt Nam. He stressed that France had taken the lead in realising the EU’s policy of multilateralisation and diversification of diplomatic ties and trade.
The host also pledged to do his best to push forward the EVFTA’s signing and approval.
On cultural and language co-operation, Việt Nam opened its first bilingual classrooms in 1995, serving as an important bridge for bilateral relations. Larcher said the improvement of bilingual education would contribute to raising the quality of bilateral ties.
On the East Sea issue, Ngân hailed France’s stance on the maintenance of maritime freedom and order in line with international law. She urged France to raise its voice on the issue at multilateral forums and bilateral talks with partners in Asia-Pacific.
The host said the freedom of travelling at sea was important and France was concerned about the issue.
He added that peaceful methods were the only way to address disputes and conflicts. – VNS