Michaelle Jean (back, L) and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (back, R) witness the signing of a cooperation document on improving the French language skills of Vietnamese diplomatic officials and civil servants (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam is playing an active and constructive role in the Francophone community, Secretary-General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) Michaelle Jean said and wished the country will contribute more to the community.

The OIF chief made the remark during an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency during her working visit to the country from October 11-13.

She said Vietnam has risen above all hardships and pain to develop, establish its standing in the global arena and enhance cooperation with other countries. Those efforts and achievements have been recognised by Francophone countries.

It has also proved to be a reliable member of the OIF, an organisation that gathers 80 member states and governments and is still expanding.

Within the framework of the OIF, it is also an obligation of Vietnam to promote the French language in the region and in the country itself, she said, adding that the OIF and the country have inked a protocol on teaching French to diplomatic officials and civil servants.

The Secretary General noted when she met with President Tran Dai Quang, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, she perceived their resolve to promote French in Vietnam.

Michaelle Jean said the country has also realised that the Francophone community is full of huge opportunities, particularly in business. According to her, the OIF is focusing on supporting young entrepreneurs and women, while developing plans to assist small- and medium-sized enterprises, event micro ones.

That was the reason why one of the first activities during her trip was meeting with Vietnamese businesses and some of their partners in French-speaking countries. Michaelle Jean said the entrepreneurs were interested in how the OIF can help them develop and connect with partners in such fields as new technology, communication and internet.

It is good that the OIF has enough catalysts and factors to help with development in these creative industries, as well as in areas Vietnam has long been strong in such as agriculture and apparel sector, she added.

The OIF Secretary-General said the 16th Francophonie Summit, slated for this November in Madagascar, will be under the theme “Shared growth and responsible development: conditions for stability around the world and within La Francophonie”, a topic that Vietnam is also interested in.

She highly valued the way Vietnam has done to strengthen cooperation with and investment in other countries, which is development associated with responsibility.

She recalled that the 7th Francophonie Summit held in Hanoi in 1997 had helped much in promoting the image of Vietnam, expressing hope that more Francophonie events, such as economic forum or festivals, will be held in Southeast Asia, such as in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia, in the near future. Those events will gather delegates from Francophone countries and help them gain an insight into the region’s dynamism.-VNA