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France supports decentralized cooperation with Vietnam, says Gerard Larcher

The Senate of France supports decentralized cooperation between France and Vietnam, considering this a key programme in the Senate’s working agenda, Senate president Gerard Larcher told NA chairman Vuong Dinh Hue during talks in Hanoi on December 8.

National Assembly chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (R) welcomes French Senate President Gerard larcher in hanoi on December 8.

Larcher, who is in Hanoi for an official visit to Vietnam, revealed that Hanoi is scheduled to play host to the 12th conference on decentralized cooperation between France and Vietnam in April 2023.

The two leaders agreed that both Vietnam and France need to further enhance cooperation between their localities, and the legislative bodies of the two countries will carry out practical activities to promote cooperation in this field.

Hue affirmed Vietnam always attaches importance to its relationship with France, one of the leading powers in Europe that plays an important role in the international arena.

Vietnam wishes to deepen its cooperative relations with France, especially in cultural and people-to-people exchanges, said Hue, adding the National Assembly of Vietnam wants to foster relations with both houses of the French parliament.

He revealed Vietnam will host a global forum of young parliamentarians in 2023, and expected both houses of the French Parliament would send delegations to this important event.

Hue suggested the two sides ramp up defence-security cooperation, as well as cooperation in education, health and climate change adaptation. He praised France’s role in implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement and said Vietnam is committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

Vietnam wishes to strengthen cooperation with France to meet its commitment, especially in terms of equitable energy transition, and climate change adaptation, said the Vietnamese legislator.

Larcher for his part affirmed Vietnam plays an important role in France’s foreign policy in all fields. He spoke highly of Vietnam’s climate change commitment, and said France is willing to share its experience in developing nuclear energy for civil use.

Both host and guest agreed the two sides have many opportunities to increase their economic-investment and trade cooperation following the enforcement of the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in August 2020.

Hue proposed France soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) to increase bilateral investment. The two sides will completely handle pending issues and promote French investment projects in Vietnam, including the ongoing metro line project.

He also proposed the French Senate support and lobby the European Commission to soon remove the ‘yellow card’ on Vietnamese fishery.

Larcher assured Hue that French businesses are eager to invest in Vietnam.

Hue thanked France for having trained nearly 3,000 healthcare workers and donated more than five million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam. He also requested that the French side continue to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese expatriates to live stably in their host country and serve as a bridge between the two countries.

They consented that the two legislative bodies will work more closely at multilateral forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Forum (ASEP), the Francophone Parliamentary Union (APF), to effectively implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Both leaders emphasized the importance of ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

At the end of the talks, Larcher cordially invited Hue to visit France to discuss a new cooperation document between the French Senate and the National Assembly of Vietnam.

Party General Secretary welcomes French Senate President

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong has hailed the ongoing visit by President of the French Senate Gérard Larcher as a vivid manifestation of friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and France, and an important milestone in their bilateral ties.

At a reception in Hanoi on December 8 for Larcher, Trong said the visit is taking place at a time when the two countries are preparing for the 50th founding anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership next year. It is also the first visit by a French Senate leader in 14 years and also the first made by Larcher since he took office.

In its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation and development, multilateralisation and diversification of external ties, Vietnam treasures its strategic partnership with France, the Party leader said.

He expressed his delight at the development of the bilateral relations in politics, economy, culture, locality-to-locality and people-to-people exchanges, in which a community of 350,000 Vietnamese living and working in France have been playing an important part.

Speaking highly of the outcomes of talks between the French Senate President and Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, Trong suggested both sides build on the past achievements to facilitate exchanges and meetings at all levels via the Party, State, parliamentary channels and people-to-people exchanges, as well as offer mutual support at multilateral forums.

He also proposed raising the bilateral strategic partnership to a new development period in a bid to bring benefits the two countries' people in all spheres and contribute to peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Larcher, for his part, informed the host that leaders of the two legislatures had agreed to increase exchanges and meeting between parliamentarians, step up cooperation and share experience among subordinate committees via visits and exchanges.

He noted with pleasure that strategic partnership between the two nations is developing strongly, intensively and extensively in all spheres.

Expressing appreciation for Vietnam’s role and position and France-Vietnam ties, Larcher wished to further deepen the relationship via promoting cooperation areas in the new period such as digital technology, digital transformation, green transition, renewable energy, climate change response, sustainable development and national defence, in parallel with traditional cooperation fields such as locality-to-locality partnership and people-to-people exchanges.

The two leaders also discussed several regional and global issues of shared concern.

On this occasion, Trong asked Larcher to convey his regards to French President Emmanuel Macron and other French leaders.

Vietnam considers France top important partner: President

Vietnam considers France a leading important partner in its diplomatic policy, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has told visiting President of the French Senate Gérard Larcher.

During a reception for the French leader in Hanoi on December 8, Phuc described economic cooperation as an important pillar of the Vietnam-France strategic partnership.

France is always a leading European trade, investment and development assistance partner of Vietnam, he said, adding two-way trade surged by 18% year on year to 3.51 billion USD in the first eight months of this year which is expected to grow strongly on the back of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The Vietnamese President suggested the French Senate soon approve the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and prompt the European Commission to remove its "yellow card" warning against Vietnam’s aquatic products.

Progress has also been seen in cultural-educational and medical cooperation. On this occasion, Phuc thanked France for providing Vietnam with 5.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Having congratulated France on its inauguration of the new headquarters of the French Institute in Hanoi and expressed his support for the planned establishment of the French Institute's branch in Ho Chi Minh City, Phuc expected that France would help Vietnam restore the Complex of Hue Monuments and provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students.

The Vietnamese leader said France is the only country that Vietnam has formed a periodic and rotating partnership conference mechanism between localities. He asked the Senate President and French senators to mobilise leaders of the French Government and localities to attend the 12th partnership conference between Vietnamese and French localities scheduled to take place in April 2023 in Hanoi.

Larcher, for his part, told the host that the two countries had unveiled the logo of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in the morning of the same day.

Hailing Vietnam’s important contributions to peace and stability in the region and the world in which France also wants to play a part, he said France also supports freedom of overflight and navigation in the East Sea.  

The Senate President thanked Vietnam for donating masks to France during the initial stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and wished to further develop the French language movement in Vietnam.

Phuc suggested the French Senate support Vietnam and ASEAN’s stance on the East Sea, ensuring freedom, security and safety of aviation and navigation, maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea while peacefully settling disputes in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

With about 300,000 Vietnamese living and working in France, the Vietnamese leader hoped for more support from the French Government and Senate to uphold their role as a bridge of friendship and cooperation between the two nations.

Phuc asked Larcher to convey his invitation to French President Emmanuel Macron to visit Vietnam soon.

Vietnam values cooperation, relations with France: PM

Vietnam attaches special importance to cooperation with France which is an important partner in Vietnam's foreign policy, stated Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh while hosting President of the French Senate Gérard Larcher in Hanoi on December 8.

Vietnam has constantly worked to deepen its traditional friendship, trust and strategic partnership with France, he noted.  

Expressing his delight at the strong development of the Vietnam-France strategic partnership across fields, the PM affirmed that France is a leading trade, investment, and ODA partner of Vietnam in Europe. He hoped the sides further step up their all-level delegation exchange and cooperation, particularly in economy, commerce, and investment. 

He suggested that the two sides focus on fully and effectively implementing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to take advantage of the great opportunities it offers.

He wished France to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese exports, especially agricultural and aquatic products, to access the French market; and encouraged French firms to continue investing in Vietnam in such areas they have strengths as digital and green transformation, and renewable energy.

The government leader said Vietnam hopes that France will soon complete the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in order to create a driving force for promoting investment relations between the nations on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, hence favourable conditions for French enterprises to invest and do business in Vietnam.

He also requested that France support Vietnam in having the EC’s yellow-card warning for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing soon removed.

PM Chinh proposed that the French side consider increasing the number of scholarships for Vietnamese students; and facilitating student and researcher exchange. He also called for stronger cultural cooperation and more support from France for Vietnam's restoration, maintenance, and preservation of local French cultural relics and UNESCO-recognised heritage.

The PM also asked his guest to back collaboration between Vietnamese and French localities in areas of France’s strength like clean water, environment, and afforestation.

He hoped the French authorities will further create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese expatriate community, whose population amounts to some 300,000.

Agreeing with Chinh’s proposals, Larcher stated that Vietnam plays a very important role in France's foreign policy and France will continue to do its best to promote the bilateral friendship and cooperation toward practical outcome and effectiveness.

Emphasising that economic, trade and investment collaboration is always a bright spot in the Vietnam-France ties, the Senate President thanked the Vietnamese Government's goodwill for always assisting and facilitating French businesses to seek opportunities and expand their operations in Vietnam for mutual benefits.

Thanking Vietnam for supporting his country’s cooperation with ASEAN countries, Larcher affirmed that France will take practical actions to aid Vietnam in stepping up joint works with the EU in economy, trade and investment, among others.

France wishes to further team up with Vietnam in such areas as agriculture, food security, transportation, and culture, education-training, and preservation and restoration of architectural and cultural works, he added.

He pledged to hold discussions with leaders of French relevant agencies with regard to the EVIPA and yellow card issues.

Saying it is necessary to ensure freedom, security and safety of navigation and aviation, and to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea, the two leaders affirmed the settlement of disputes must be done by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Source: VOV

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