French, Vietnamese businesses sign deals worth $9.5bn

Eighteen investment and cooperative agreements, worth US$9.5 billion, were signed by Vietnamese and French businesses at the Vietnamese-French business leaders' forum in Hanoi November 13.

The forum was held on the occasion of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon’s visit to Vietnam.

Attending the event, along with Vietnamese Standing Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung, PM Fillion applauded Vietnam’s great achievements in social and economic development after 20 years of doi moi (renovation).

France is very interested in cooperation between the two countries in the future, particularly in education and technology, he said.

France tops the list of leading European countries investing in Vietnam and the third biggest European trade partner of Vietnam, with two-way trade reaching $1.8 billion last year, he said.
France now has about 250 companies operating in Vietnam, he added.

Deputy PM Hung said French businesses should boost investment in Vietnam, a market with a great development potential.

Lying at the gateway of Asia, which is developing dynamically and stably, Vietnam is a place where French investors can be confident of success, he said.

HCM City Party leader Le Thanh Hai talks with visiting French PM Francois Fillon on November 13 (Photo: SGGP)

On the afternoon the same day, the French Prime Minister visited Ho Chi Minh City, where he was welcomed by city’s Party Committee Secretary Le Thanh Hai and People’s Committee Standing Deputy Chairman Nguyen Thanh Tai.

Mr. Hai applauded the traditional friendly relations between the two countries, putting an emphasis on cooperative opportunities in trade, investment, culture, education, and science and technology.

He also informed the Mr Fillon of the progress of construction of Collette School at Long Binh Ward, District 9, considering it a boost to the cultural and educational exchange between the two countries.

Mr Fillon later visited the Institute of Cultural Exchange with France (IDECAF) and the French Consulate in the city.

Talking with the city’s leaders before leaving, Mr. Fillon expressed his belief in the cooperation of the two countries in the future, saying that France is now the second biggest ODA provider to Vietnam, with over €2 billion granted to the country’s projects.

He added that Vietnam now ranks seventh in the list of countries receiving French ODA.

By staff writers – Translated by Truc Thinh

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