Vietnam Time

4/11/2018 9:07:55 AM

Vietnam and France: Smile together and look toward the future

(VNF) - Fostering cooperation in three key areas: Economics-trade, politic-defence and education-culture exchange is the prioritized goal of Vietnam-France bilateral relations in the time to come, said Ambassador of France to Vietnam, Bertrand Lortholary.

Ambassador of France to Vietnam, Bertrand Lortholary (source: dantri)

Vietnam and France have a long-standing traditional ties. Despite located in two faraway continents, the two countries have been sharing close linkages in history, culture and social affairs.

Since the official establishment of diplomatic relations (April 12, 1973), the Vietnam-France relations have witnessed continuous evolution, with various recorded achievements.

Speaking to the press and media on the occasion of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to France in late March, Ambassador of France to Vietnam, Bertrand Lortholary stressed the visit of the General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong as a critical milestone which push forward bilateral ties.

The visit is of great significance, especially when the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties and 5th anniversary of strategic partnership are drawing near.

Economic ties is the top priority

In a recent meeting with the press and media, Ambassador Lortholary stated: “Economics is one of the top priorities in bilateral cooperations. In the visit of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to France, the total value of business agreements signed by two sides have hit € 1 billion. The figure signifies the dynamism of Vietnam-France economic ties.”

According to the French diplomat, at the moment, around 300 French firms are operating in Vietnam, which have created nearly 30,000 jobs for the people.

At the same time, France has been carrying out a number of significant projects in Vietnam, such as building the third railway route in Hanoi, supplying air crafts and aviation services for air carrier firms in the country, including Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air. France is also working on a cooperative project with the new-born air carrier, Bamboo Airway.

In addition, the two sides are stepping up their efforts in collaborating in other spheres, such as infrastructures, consumer goods, pharmaceutical products and wines.

However, the Ambassador stressed that the ties in economics between Vietnam and France have yet to develop to the potentials, since French imports to Vietnam only account for one percent of the Vietnamese imported market.

Therefore, it is relevant to map out proper approaches to improve the effectiveness of cooperation, he said.

According to the Ambassador, France pays immense attention to encouraging enterprises to invest in Vietnam.

Especially, as the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is coming into effect soon, the Ambassador looks forward to further progress of trade ties, which will benefit both sides.

New direction of cooperation in defence-security

Cooperations in defense has been becoming a new strategic cornerstone in bilateral relations, Ambassador of France stated.

Recently, at the sideline of the meeting between Vietnamese Vice Minister of Defence, Nguyen Chi Vinh and French Defence Minister, Florence Parly, which took place during the visit to France of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, two agreements were inked.

Prior to the signing, the two sides had been conducting joint activities such as providing training for defence officers in the field of information and Vietnamese peacekeeping forces.

Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Phuong Nam, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army and Rear Admiral Denis Bertrand, Joint Commander Armed Forces in French Polynesia in a meeting on March 20 (source: VN plus)

In the time to come, France wishes to promote the defence ties with Vietnam, which will be developed in a new direction, which focuses on defence infrastructures and facilities.

“In the context of thriving bilateral ties, we hope that in the time to come, Vietnam will regard France as a key partner in defence facilities supply, and take this partnership as the core engine to drive the robust growth of the ties in defence and security,” said Ambassador Lortholary.

2018 will be the third consecutive year the air craft carrier of France comes back to Vietnam for a friendly visit, which is an unprecedented event, he noted.

The visit signifies the willingness of France in reinforcing the defense ties with Vietnam, the Ambassador added.

Bringing together the youth from the East and the West

Nowadays, there are over 7,000 VN students studying in French universities, making France become the country with the largest number of Vietnamese students in Europe, and the third in the world’s ranking board in this category.

Vice versa, the number of French students going to Vietnam for study has been rising, the French diplomat said, adding that besides promoting the ties in education, cultural arts exchange is also taken into account.

French Ambassador Bertrand Lortholary visits a vocational school in Vinh Phuc province (source:

Currently, the two sides are wokring on several project for the country’s development, including the joint project to build the SaiGon Village to support artists in HCM.City and other art exchanges and language teaching programmes.

In summary, the Ambassador shared a positive view on the prospect of Vietnam - France relations by quoting French President Emmanuel Macron's saying: “Vietnam and France are two friends, smiling together and looking toward the future.”/. 

  ( Translated by Phi Yen )
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