Enhanced Vietnam-France ties

(VOVworld) - Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung left Hanoi on Monday for a three-day official visit to France. The visit is of great historic significance as it creates a firm foundation for the two countries to boost practical cooperation in all areas.

Vietnam and France established diplomatic ties on April 12, 1973. Over the past 40 years, the two countries have frequently exchanged high-ranking visits to strengthen political relations and mutual understanding and have established cooperative mechanisms including annual dialogues on economics, security and national defense. France has become Vietnam’s 3rd largest European trading partner with two-way trade totaling 3.2 billion USD last year. Vietnam exports to France footwear, garment and textiles, home appliances, fish, machines, and electronic accessories and imports from France aviation equipment, pharmaceuticals, mechanical products, electronics, chemicals and alcoholic beverages. As of late last year, France ranked second among European countries and 15th among the 92 countries and territories invested in Vietnam with 375 projects worth more than 3.1 billion USD. France has always been the largest European ODA provider for Vietnam with an aid package of 2.5 billion USD for infrastructure development, technology transfer, agriculture, industry and finance. Vietnamese Ambassador to France Duong Chi Dung told VOV: “There are more than 7,000 Vietnamese students studying in France. In regard to health care, France has helped us train more than 2,500 doctors and professors and most key personnel in Vietnam’s medical sector have studied in France. More than 50 localities in Vietnam and France have strengthened their cooperation in urban management and environmental protection. Such relations contribute to the overall ties between the two states and governments.

Enhanced Vietnam-France ties - ảnh 1
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and French Preisdent François Hollande on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Laos in 2011

Former French President Francois Mitterand’s visit to Vietnam in 1993 marked a milestone opening a new era in relations between the two countries. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to France takes place with bilateral ties developing broadly and rapidly moving toward the level of a strategic partnership. This is also an important milestone as the two countries are celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties. Former French Ambassador to Vietnam Claude Blanchemaison was among those who arranged President Mitterand’s visit to Vietnam in 1993. He told VOV’s bureau in Paris:“Vietnam has recently signed strategic partnership agreements with Singapore in Asia and Denmark in Europe after signing them with Germany and the UK. This reflects Vietnam’s dynamism and attractions to the world. Vietnam and France have historical relations, share similarities in culture and both are determined to expand cooperation in various areas. This is the foundation for developing a strategic partnership between our two countries. France is in the heart of Europe and Vietnam is in the center of Asia and both have the potential to upgrade their bilateral ties to a strategic partnership”.

During the visit, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is scheduled to discuss with French leaders the two countries’ roles and positions and measures to implement Strategic Partnership agreements, especially to boost economic ties creating a breakthrough in bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, science, technology, education, training and culture. The strategic partnership will serve as a foundation for the two countries to become closer and enhance cooperation for mutual development and for peace, stability, friendship and prosperity in the world.