Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on November 28 had a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Elisabeth Borne to seek ways to further strengthen the Vietnam- France strategic partnership , especially in economy, trade and investment.
Highlighting the connections in history and culture between the two countries, PM Chinh affirmed that Vietnam attaches great importance to the relations with France, an important member of the European Union (EU).
He took this occasion to thank the French Government and people for providing 5.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam, helping the country overcome the pandemic.
PM Borne congratulated Vietnam on the achievements in post-pandemic economic recovery and development, suggesting that the two sides work closely together to make the bilateral strategic partnership deeper, more substantial and effective through the exchange of delegations at all levels, the optimisation of existing cooperation mechanisms and the implementation of activities to mark important milestones of their ties in 2023.
The two PMs agreed that economic cooperation is an important pillar in the Vietnam-France strategic partnership. They reviewed the progress of major joint projects, especially the Nhon-Hanoi Station urban railway, sharing a hope that the elevated part of the project will be put into operation by the end of this year.
Borne expressed her hope to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam in the fields of digital economy, digital transformation, infrastructure and especially renewable energy, and agreed to promote full and effective implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to optimise opportunities it brings in.
PM Chinh proposed that France create favourable conditions for Vietnamese farm produce to approach the French market and that France ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in an early date to motivate the bilateral investment partnership, while hastening the European Commission to soon remove the yellow card against Vietnamese fisheries.
Welcoming outcomes of bilateral cooperation in the fields of culture, education and health care over the years, he urged France to increase the number of scholarships for Vietnamese students, contributing to enhancing people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, while supporting Vietnam in the restoration and preservation of UNESCO-recognised cultural heritages.
The Government leader also asked for the French Government’s assistance for the Vietnamese community, especially after COVID-19, to integrate into the host society and help foster the friendship between the two nations.
The two leaders discussed a number of regional and international issues of shared concern, pledging to continue coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums.
PM Chinh appreciated France’s dynamic policy in the Indo-Pacific region and supported its active role in responding to common challenges in the region.
They continued to affirm the significance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, and the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).
On this occasion, PM Chinh invited PM Elisabeth Borne to visit Vietnam, and received the latter’s acceptance./.
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