NA leader meets French PM in Paris

National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan met French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on April 2 as part of her ongoing visit to France.

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NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan meets French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in Paris on April 2

The Vietnamese NA leader said that her visit – the next in a series of high-level visits by leaders of the two countries, including the France visit of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and the Vietnam visit of PM Edouard Philippe in 2018 – shows the sound relationship between the two countries and opens up new cooperation prospects in economics, defence, culture, and education.

She said that following the PM’s visit, many French firms have conducted investment and business activities in Vietnam. 

The Vietnamese newly-established carrier Bamboo Airways is negotiating with Airbus on aircraft purchase, while the Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air will receive their airplanes from Airbus on April 3, she said, adding that FPT Group will soon be opening its representative office in Toulouse.

She said that thanks to regular visits of Vietnamese and French leaders, as well as the promotion of political-diplomatic cooperation, new economic partnership opportunities have been opened up for the two countries.

The top legislator affirmed that Vietnam pays great attention to cooperation with France in Europe. In her meetings with leaders of the Senate and National Assembly of France, she proposed that the French parliament urge the European Parliament to soon ratify the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA).

For his part, PM Edouard Philippe conveyed his delight that the business communities of Vietnam and France have fostered their partnership.

He said that during his 2018 visit, he discovered that Vietnamese and French firms share the same wish to connect and partner with each other.

Along with aviation and aerospace, Vietnam is interested in cooperation in the satellite industry, the French PM said, adding that French businesses, with strength in technology and experience, can be good partners in the field.

Noting that the Vietnam-France joint project to build metro line No.3 in Hanoi is progressing, he said that 2019 is an important stage for the project. The French Space in Ho Chi Minh City is a symbol of the Vietnam-France relations, he said, expressing his hope that the work will be constructed soon.

Regarding the EVFTA, he affirmed that France will always support Vietnam and hopes that the deal will be signed and ratified soon.

NA Chairwoman Ngan said that the Vietnamese side will speed up the procedures so that the French Space in HCM City will be implemented soon. 

NA Chairwoman: Vietnam regards France as priority partner

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) and President of the Senate of France Gerand Larcher 

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has stated that Vietnam attaches importance to cooperation with Europe, with France as a priority partner. 

During a meeting with President of the Senate of France Gerand Larcher in Paris on April 2, NA Chairwoman Ngan said there are 200 French businesses operating in Vietnam, and France is the fourth largest European trade partner of the country. 

Vietnam wants France to raise its position among 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-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group and 15 major French businesses, adding that there will also be activities between the two countries’ enterprises during her visit to the city of Toulouse. 

According to Ngan, via exchanges and working sessions with French companies, she found that the companies feel secure investing in Vietnam. A number of firms have been operating in Vietnam for over two decades and are seeking opportunities in diverse areas, which is the reason why the two countries need 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 will support the strengthening of ties between Vietnam and the European Union (EU), including the signing and ratification of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). 

Larcher, for his part, reiterated two important milestones in France-Vietnam ties, which are the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1973 and strategic partnership in 2013. Together with growing bilateral political and diplomatic ties, economic partnership has seen good progress and was a focal point under discussion at the cooperation conference between Vietnamese and French localities held in Toulouse city the same day. 

Lauding Vietnam’s geopolitical importance and recalling Vietnam’s successful hosting of the second DPRK-USA summit, Larcher said Vietnam plays a significant role in coordinating political activities in the region. 

He thanked the Vietnamese top legislator for inviting him to visit Vietnam, saying that it will afford the two legislatures a chance to strengthen their ties, thereby bolstering future joint work between the two nations, especially in economy. 

With regards to the EVFTA, he affirmed the Senate’s support for Vietnam. He stressed that France has 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 EFFTA signing and approval. 

On cultural and language cooperation, Vietnam has opened bilingual classrooms since 1995, serving as an important bridge for bilateral relations. Larcher said the improvement of bilingual education will contribute to raising the quality of bilateral ties. 

On the East Sea issue, Ngan 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 is important and France is concerned about the issue. 

He added that peaceful methods are the choice for addressing disputes and conflicts, which is also what countries are looking toward. 

Conference on Vietnamese-French local cooperation closes

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan speaks at the event 

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan chaired the closing ceremony of the 11th conference on cooperation between Vietnamese and French localities in Toulouse city, France on April 2. 

At the conference, Chairman of the Hanoi municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung briefed participants about the local socio-economic situation, foreign investors’ activities in Vietnam and Hanoi in particular, and answered questions from Toulouse investors and firms. 

He said trust between the two governments, business communities and peoples has been strengthened over the past 45 years, affirming that Hanoi will carefully study investors’ suggestions at the event. He also invited French and Toulouse investors to the capital city.  

Addressing the closing ceremony, NA Chairwoman Ngan said via locality-to-locality cooperation, many practical projects in the fields of urban management, environment, health care, education, culture, tourism, sustainable management have brought about positive results. 

She said the conference took place at a time when Vietnam and France recently celebrated the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of the signing of a joint statement on the establishment of bilateral strategic partnership in 2018. 

The top legislator noted that the five topical discussions at the conference are the core areas in Vietnam-France local cooperation in the current context. Facing changing challenges, Vietnamese and French localities should seek new directions and new driving forces for their relations, she said, adding that creativity and sustainability are the key for their effective and successful coordination in the future. 

Chairwoman Ngan expressed her belief that both sides will share new achievements in their joint work in the next meeting scheduled to take place in Hanoi in the next three years. 

First Vice President of the French Senate Philippe Dallier lauded collaboration between Vietnamese and French localities over the past three decades, which he said is among the typical examples for bilateral cooperation. 

According to him, issues discussed at the event, such as urban and sustainable development, and climate change prevention, are the challenges that the two countries must overcome in the years ahead. 

He noted that Toulouse has enhanced cooperation with Hanoi in specific projects on urban development, and affirmed that the French Senate always supports local administrations in their joint work with Vietnamese localities. 

During the event, cooperation agreements between Hanoi and Toulouse, and between the northern province of Yen Bai and Val de Marne were signed.


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