French-Vietnamese cooperation always moves forward

08:30 | 03/02/2014 Cooperation

(VEN) - Last year left an important mark of the 40 year celebration of the Vietnamese-French relationship. To mark the historic year, the two nation’s relationship was raised up to the strategic partnership level, opening many cooperation prospects for both sides.

French Ambassador Jean Noel Poirier

Strategic partnership-new destination of friendship and cooperation

French ambassador to Vietnam Jean Noel Poirier said, in 2013 Vietnam and France carried out many meaningful activities, contributing to tightening and deepening the cooperation between the two countries, especially in fields of economics, trade and investment. More than a third of the events held were related to economic cooperation.

The official visit by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to France in September last year was an important event as it acted as a milestone for the two nation’s relationship with the official establishment of the strategic partnership.

In his speech in France, PM Nguyen Tan Dung made a comparison saying the relationship was like a sailing boat filling its sails with wind. The boat has overcome highs and lows to land at a new shore of friendship and cooperation which was the official establishment of the strategic partnership, opening a new period with better prospects for cooperation.

Ambassador Jean Noel Poirier stressed that the establishment of the strategic partnership was the springboard for the two countries to enhance more efficient and practical cooperation on every aspects, especially economic cooperation.

He raised specific examples, which were the newly signed economic cooperation agreements. For example, the agreement between GDF Suez Oil and Gas Group with Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group on liquefying gas and generating electricity project with a capacity of 2,000 MW; or the aviation cooperation project in which Vietjet Air would buy 60 French jets over the next 10 years. Thanks to this project, Vietjet Air could satisfy the demand of the aviation market in Southeast Asia and also contribute to balancing Vietnamese-French trade.

Furthermore, the France - Vietnam Year 2013 boosted bilateral scientific cooperation as well as in other areas like intellectual property, agriculture and food processing.

 Many new expectations

Ambassador Jean Noel Poirier also said the French-Vietnamese strategic partnership agreement has identified five key cooperation areas, including politics, foreign affairs; defense and security; economy, trade and investment; cooperation development; culture, education and training and science and technology. In addition, the two sides regarded enhanced trade cooperation between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) a vital, in addition to drawing up investment and production projects to meet the requirements and demands of each country. French enterprises and partners are expecting new economic cooperation developments between the two countries.

As for the French enterprises, the Vietnamese market is a large and attractive market in the Association of Southeast Asia Nations - ASEAN. With its large population, dynamic economy and long history of relations with France, the market itself has created certain attractiveness to French investors and exporters. In addition, Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization WTO and the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the EU (EVFTA) under negotiation are seen as favorable factors to make it more attractive to the investors. However, if taking the business environment and investment into consideration, Vietnam is not the only attractive destination in ASEAN to French businesses. Therefore, there is still a lot of work to do for Vietnam to lure foreign enterprises, especially stability in terms of the legal regulations.

In particular, the second annual high-level dialogue session between France and Vietnam which will be held this April in Paris will provide an opportunity to further promote the launched projects in 2013. In addition, 2014 is the year that France and the EU set many ambitions, aiming to sign a FTA between Vietnam and the EU which will allow the two countries to strengthen their economic ties.

“In addition, next year France will remain the EU’s leading ODA donor for Vietnam. This shows the desire of France to further contribute to the development of Vietnam”, the ambassador affirmed./.

By Nguyen Huong