Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung shakes hand with Pierre Laurent, National Secretary of the French Communist Party in Paris. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and France have showed their political resolve to promote and expand cooperation to realise their signed strategic partnership.

Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Ngoc Son made the remarks following Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s November 30 meetings with French leaders during his trip to Paris to attend the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) .

According to Son, Prime Minister Dung had talks with his French counterpart Manuel Valls and met with Senate President Gerard Larcher, President of the National Assembly Claude Bartolone, and Pierre Laurent, National Secretary of the French Communist Party. He also had a short meeting with French President Francois Hollande on the fringe of the COP 21.

At the meetings, the two sides agreed to increase high-level delegation exchanges and further promote collaboration in economy, trade, culture, science and technology, education, according to the ambassador.

Both acknowledged that bilateral economic relations have developed strongly in recent years, with two-way trade hitting 3.5 billion USD in 2014 and France’s investment in Vietnam amounting to 3.5 billion USD. At present, France is one of the most important European partners of Vietnam.

However, they held that the relations remain modest and is yet to match their potential.

On tourism and education cooperation, the two sides expressed their delight at the fact that the number of tourists from and to each country has increased year on year and around 7,000 Vietnamese students are pursuing their study in France.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung stated that Vietnam, as a beautiful and peaceful country, wishes to welcome more French tourists as its government decided to give a 15-day visa exemption to French citizens.

He also suggested the French government create favourable conditions for Vietnamese citizens to visit their relatives in France, which is home to approximately 300,000 Vietnamese people.

Both sides agreed to further expand connections in defence and science-technology with France’s transfer of high technologies to and engagement in training human resources in Vietnam.-VNA