Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Paris (VNA) – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said France and Vietnam should support each other in responding to climate change during talks with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Paris on Nov. 30 on the sidelines of the COP21.

PM Valls also promised to encourage French businesses to invest in “green growth” projects in Vietnam.

The two leaders acknowledged the positive development of bilateral ties over the past time, noting that the establishment of the strategic partnership during PM Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to France in 2014 was a milestone in Vietnam-France relationship, laying the foundation for the two countries to define long-term orientation for their cooperation in key areas.

To enhance the bilateral partnership in the time ahead, they agreed to increase contact at all levels, particularly high level, enhance the role of cooperative mechanisms such as the joint committee on defence cooperation and annual high-level economic dialogue. The two sides will coordinate for the successful organisation of the 10th conference on cooperation between Vietnamese and French localities in Vietnam in September next year.

On the economic side, the two sides will accelerate key joint projects in transport, energy, space and aviation, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. France is currently the 5th largest trade partner of Vietnam in the European Union with two-way trade reaching 3.5 billion USD in 2014. France ranks second among European investors in Vietnam, having poured a total 3.38 billion USD in the Southeast Asian country. France is also the biggest European provider of ODA for Vietnam with 360 million USD in 2014.

However, the two leaders were not satisfied with those results, saying they are yet to match the potential and desire of both countries.

The French PM affirmed that France will continue to advocate stronger comprehensive relations between Vietnam and the EU, particularly in the fields of trade and economics. He said France supports the early signing, ratification and enforcement of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which he said will help boost trade-investment ties between France and Vietnam.

The two PMs also underlined the importance of education and training partnership and agreed to create conditions for more Vietnamese students to pursue education in France.

They valued the coordination between the two countries at multilateral forums. The French PM spoke highly of Vietnam’s achievements in international integration and the country’s role in maintaining peace, security and stability in the region. PM Nguyen Tan Dung, for his part, affirmed that Vietnam will work as a bridge to help France strengthen its ties with the Asia-Pacific and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The two leaders shared the view that all disputes in the East Sea should be addressed by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) while ensuring security and safety of navigation and aviation in the interest of the region and the international community as a whole.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung offered deep sympathy from the Vietnamese Government and people to the French Government and people, particularly the families of victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13.-VNA