PM Chinh holds talks with his French counterpart, meets President of Senate
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has voiced his hope that France would continue to share their experience and continue to support the nation in training medical staff, transfering vaccine production technology, and adapting to the post-COVID-19 context.
On the evening of November 3 (local time), at the Matignon Palace, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held talks with his French counterpart Jean Castex, witnessed the signing ceremony of a number of cooperation agreements between the two countries, and attended a banquet hosted by French PM.
PM Jean Castex noted his appreciation for the close-knit relationship between the two peoples and the wide-ranging and diversified development of the strategic partnership with Vietnam in recent years.
In response, PM Chinh hailed the role and position of France in the European Union (EU) as well as in the international arena, and emphasized the importance of relations with France in Vietnam's overall foreign policy. He said he wishes that the Vietnam-France strategic partnership would continue to grow stronger in the time ahead.
The two leaders informed each other about the situation of their respective nation. The Vietnamese Government chief highlighted Vietnam's current anti-pandemic strategy, which goes hand in hand with accelerating vaccination and taking stronger measures to boost production and economic recovery.
They were appreciative of the mutual assistance between the two countries in recent times. The French Prime Minister said his nation will provide Vietnam with 970,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX mechanism and 400,000 doses through bilateral channels, thereby bringing the total number of vaccines given to Vietnam to more than 2 million doses so far.
The pair consented to effectively carry out the Viet Nam-EU free trade agreement (EVFTA) and accelerate the ratification process of the EU-Viet Nam investment protection agreement (EVIPA) to give fresh impetus to trade and investment linkages between the two countries, and between Vietnam and the EU.
The two PMs went on to compare notes on regional and international issues of shared concern, including the East Sea, whilst also underscoring that all countries must contribute to maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity, ensuring security, safety, freedom of navigation and aviation, and settling international disputes peacefully on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
PM Castex used the event to thank the Vietnamese side for backing his nation to become a development partner of ASEAN and highly valued the country’s successful performance as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020 to 2021 tenure.
In response, PM Chinh thanked the French Government for its assistance in the nation’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two sides agreed to implement practical measures aimed at creating more favourable conditions for bilateral trade exchanges and goods to penetrate each other's markets. They proposed measures aimed at promoting co-operation projects in key fields, such as transportation, infrastructure, agriculture, the environment, energy, aeronautics, and space.
Moving forward, they hope to build towards long-term industrial partnerships on the basis of high-technology transfer and mutual benefit, especially in areas where France has strengths and the country has demand, such as clean energy, organic farming, and digital transformation.
The French MP proposed that the nation create optimal conditions for French enterprises in order to invest in, as well as implementing co-operation projects in the country. This can be done whilst ramping up co-operation in defence-security, research, science and technology, and promoting relations between the two parliamentary agencies.
PM Chinh welcomed and acknowledged French proposals, affirming that the Vietnamese side wishes for effective support and co-operation, thanking the European nation for continuing to maintain its commitment to provide official development assistance (ODA). This is along with giving preferential financial resources to the country.
Moreover, the Vietnamese PM hailed co-operation and cultural exchanges between the two countries, including the important role of both the Vietnamese and French Cultural Centers in each country. He suggested that France maintain and further speed up health projects and bolster efforts in education and training, including French language teaching. He said he hopes that France will create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese students to exchange, study, and research in France, whilst also increasing the number of scholarships available.
PM Chinh went on to share the outcomes of the high-level Vietnamese delegation's attendance at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) that recently took place in the UK. He announced that the country has committed to building and implementing a range of policies and measures aimed at promoting international co-operation, with hopes that developed countries, including France, will continue to support Vietnam in this field.
The French PM used the platform to applaud the contributions made by the Vietnamese community in France that serves as an important bridge for relations between the two countries. PM Chinh also asked the French side to continue to support and offer the best possible conditions for the Vietnamese community in France, especially in the context of post-pandemic economic recovery.
During the occasion, the Vietnamese Government leader also invited the French PM to visit the country at an appropriate time and conveyed the invitation made by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to President Macron to visit Vietnam.
The same day PM Chinh met with President of the French Senate Gerard Larcher, during which, Senate President Larcher affirmed that his nation places great importance on the Vietnamese position and role in the world. Indeed, there is a strong desire to deepen bilateral traditional friendship and strategic partnership across a variety of fields.
The President of the Senate noted his desire to further step up ties with the Vietnamese legislature, he said.
PM Chinh, in turn, praised the two legislatures’ important contributions to consolidating bilateral ties in general, including promoting locality-to-locality collaboration.
He added his hope that France would continue assisting the nation in improving its medical capacity, and training culture management officers.
The PM proposed that France consider increasing scholarships to Vietnamese students, help the country to restore mutual cultural heritage sites such as Long Bien bridge or those bearing French impression in Vietnam.
With regard to regional and global issues of common concern, including the East Sea issue, they stressed that countries must contribute to maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity. This should be done whilst ensuring security, maritime, and aviation safety and freedom; as well as peacefully settling disputes on the basis of principles of international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS.
Senate President Larcher agreed on jointly working towards effectively utilsing the EVFTA. He also expressed his support for the early ratification of the EVIPA in a bid to optimise the potential of economic-trade-investment cooperation between both Vietnam and France, along with other EU member states.
He affirmed his readiness to consider pushing forward the EU Commission’s early removal of the “yellow card” warning placed on Vietnamese fisheries.
The Vietnamese PM thanked the French Government and Senate for creating favourable conditions in which the Vietnamese community can both study and work in the European country, adding his desire to receive more valuable support from the French Government, Senate, and authorities in the near future.
The President of the French Senate spoke highly of the Vietnamese community in France’s integration and success, a factor which serves as a contribution to building closer bilateral ties.
As part of the occasion, PM Chinh conveyed National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s invitation to Senate President Larcher to visit Vietnam.