A visit to concretize the Vietnam-France Strategic Partnership
|French Ambassador to Viet Nam Nicolas Warnery. (Photo: Thu Trang)|
At the invitation of French Prime Minister Jean Castex, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh pays an official visit to the Republic of France from November 3-5.
On the occasion of the visit, French Ambassador to Viet Nam Nicolas Warnery shared the significance of the trip as well as the prospect of the Viet Nam-France strategic partnership.
What do you think about Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's official visit to France, especially in the context that the two countries are heading to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2023?
We are extremely pleased and honored that right after the COP26 Conference in Glasgow (UK), the Prime Minister of Viet Nam chose France as the first country in Europe to make an official visit. This decision demonstrates the importance and position of bilateral relations for both sides.
France welcomes Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation with a high-level reception. Specifically, the President, Prime Minister and leaders of the French Senate and National Assembly will welcome, hold talks and discuss with the Prime Minister and Vietnamese delegation on issues of concern to both sides.
This visit is especially important because it is the first visit by a high-level Vietnamese leader to France since the Spring of 2019, due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Both Viet Nam and France wish, on this visit, to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries. For France, we hope this is an opportunity to concretize cooperation programs and projects within the framework of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
How is the Viet Nam-France Strategic Partnership developing? Can you talk about the highlights in this relationship?
Viet Nam and France have had close cooperation within the framework of the United Nations Security Council and ASEAN. France is very honored to be a development partner of ASEAN.
Both Viet Nam and France have similar strategic relationships and approaches in regional and international forums. For example, France always supports Viet Nam in complying with international law in the East Sea issue, not only in words but also in concrete actions.
Viet Nam is a country located in the central region of Southeast Asia, the focus area of the Indo-Pacific Strategy in the common foreign policy of the European Union (EU) members, including France.
In addition, our two countries also have close and effective cooperation on global issues, especially health care and environmental protection.
In terms of health care, a field of long tradition between Viet Nam and France, we are proud and delighted to contribute to maintaining and further developing that partnership.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, when facing challenges, both countries have given each other noble gestures. Those are the medical masks that Viet Nam gave to the French people last year, the Covid-19 vaccines that France donated to Vietnam this year.
During this visit, the Vietnamese Prime Minister is expected to call on the world's first Pasteur Institute in Paris. This is where there is a close connection with Viet Nam, because the 2nd Pasteur Institute is located in Ho Chi Minh City and the 3rd Pasteur Institute is located in Nha Trang.
In addition, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh is expected to visit an industrial facility in the pharmaceutical field on the outskirts of Paris, a corporation with a factory located in Ho Chi Minh City.
Regarding the environment, it is expected that during the visit, the Prime Minister of Viet Nam will sign at least 4 aid loans from the French Development Agency (AFD) related to environmental issues. That is the project to expand Hoa Binh hydroelectric dam; projects related to anti-flooding in Dien Bien Phu; the project involves connecting to the national grid of power stations from renewable power sources...
|Viet Nam received 672,000 doses of Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Government of France through the COVAX Facility on September 14th. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)|
So what are the "highlights" areas that the two countries are interested in and want to promote cooperation in the near future?
First of all, in the field of culture, for more than 20 years now, the various activities programs of the French Institute in Ha Noi have contributed to the promotion of French culture and integrated into the rich cultural activities of the French Institute in the capital.
One of the important points related to the French Institute that the two sides need to discuss in the near future is to find a new location and France wants to find a location near the center of the capital so that the French Institute can maintain its operations.
Regarding governance and legislation, with the desire to improve the operation of public agencies, France will accompany Viet Nam in the process of digitizing administrative procedures, building an electronic portal for people to use accessible public services.
Regarding scientific research, many prestigious French scientific research units have been present in Vietnam for a long time and there are groups of Vietnamese-French researchers who have cooperated with each other for many years.
In the coming time, the two sides expect to have a breakthrough in the field of aerospace, especially through the signing of a tripartite cooperation document between the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), French National Space Research (CNES) and Airbus Group.
Regarding people-to-people exchanges, the Covid-19 epidemic has made travel between the two countries difficult. We hope that, in the near future, when the epidemic situation is controlled, this problem will be solved, and Vietnamese students learning in France will increase again.
In particular, during this visit, the two sides are expected to sign a document recognizing qualifications between the two countries. This is a new impulse, creating a push to promote more Vietnamese students to France.
Cooperation between French localities and Vietnamese provinces has been seen in many fields such as health, education, culture, etc. To create a framework for cooperation between the two countries, the Decentralized Cooperation Conference will be held every 3 years and next year is expected to be held in Hanoi.
Regarding economic cooperation, it is expected that during this visit, the leaders of the two countries will discuss the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
Legally, from August 1, 2020, the EVFTA has come into effect. In the upcoming meetings, the French leaders will discuss with the Vietnamese Prime Minister the fullest and most complete implementation of the provisions to enhance economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries on the basis of the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers.
In addition, the two sides can also discuss the signing of important economic projects, including the Metro Hanoi project.
In the field of energy, many French businesses want to participate in clean energy development projects in Viet Nam. In addition, the two sides have the prospect of building projects towards sustainable development, contributing to reducing pollution and combating climate change.
In short, we consider Viet Nam a strategic partner not only in words but also in concrete actions. Therefore, we hope that the visit by the Prime Minister of Viet Nam to France will promote more practical actions for bilateral relations.
We hope that the promises and commitments of the two sides will be implemented in detail, and at the same time open a new direction of cooperation for bilateral relations in the coming time.