Vietnam, France eye closer ties

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his French counterpart, Francois Fillon, discussed measures to provide new momentum to bilateral relations at a meeting they held in Hanoi November 12.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (L) and visiting French Prime Minister Francois Fillon inspect a guard of honor in Hanoi on November 12. (Photo: SGGP)

PM Dung, warmly welcoming Mr. Fillon who is on his first visit to Vietnam, said his Government expects France to expand its presence in the economic, trade, and investment fields.

With its rising role within ASEAN, Vietnam is willing to be a bridge linking France and Southeast Asia, he said, hoping France would play a similar role in Europe for Vietnam.

Mr. Fillon expressed delight at visiting Vietnam and his admiration for its achievements.

France would continue to invest in Vietnam and remain an important economic and trade partner, he assured.

The two sides promised to create favorable conditions to enable each other’s enterprises to invest in infrastructure, energy, aerospace, telecom, science, environmental protection, and other sectors.

The two prime ministers agreed to promote economic and trade relations to match the strong political ties and fulfill the potential that exists.

After their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of many important agreements, including on developing nuclear power for peaceful uses, ensuring social order and safety, and defense, cultural, educational, and environmental cooperation.

France signed an agreement to increase funding for the Nhon-Hanoi Station Railway project and provide funds for hydroelectric and other projects to the tune of €260 million ($287 million).

Vietnam Airlines and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) signed a memorandum of understanding on developing Vietnam’s aviation industry and another on purchase of passenger aircraft.

On the same day, PM Fillon also met Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and told him that France had prioritized its relationship with Vietnam through major projects in many fields.

Mr. Manh said Vietnam hopes to become a special partner for France and other European countries.

Mr. Fillon also met President Nguyen Minh Triet and the Chairman of the National Assembly, Nguyen Phu Trong.

By B.Hang, translated by Ky Linh

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