Delegates at the workshop (Photo: VNA)
Paris (VNA) – Nearly 80 Vietnamese and French enterprises attended a workshop in Paris , France , on October 20 to increase trade and investment exchanges under the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement.

Minister-Counselor at the Vietnamese Embassy in France Nguyen Manh Thang underlined France as the second biggest European investor in Vietnam with total capital of more than 4 billion EUR (4.36 billion USD).

Two-way trade topped 4.07 billion EUR (4.44 billion USD) in 2015, he said, adding that France was the third largest country in the EU to export to Vietnam , after Germany and Italy . Meanwhile, Vietnam led ASEAN in exports to France .

The bilateral strategic partnership was signed in 2013 and has been realised through various activities, particularly the official visit to Vietnam by French President Francois Hollande in September 2016, boosting bilateral trade and economic relations.

Deputy head of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade Ta Hoang Linh said as of September 2016, Vietnam was ranked 90 th out of the 189 global economies on the ease of doing business globally by the World Bank, improving three places from 2015.

He revealed that Vietnam exported 2.63 billion EUR (2.87 billion USD) worth of goods to France in 2015, including electronic equipment and spare parts, garment-textile, footwear, timber products, coffee and seafood.

Meanwhile, France exported 1.13 billion EUR (1.23 billion USD) worth of goods to Vietnam, encompassing medicine, chemicals, equipment, machinery, milk and dairy products, and cosmetics, he noted.

Director of Business France’s international cooperation department Philippe Yvergniaux said about 2,000 French companies export goods to Vietnam while 300 French businesses invest in the Southeast Asian market.

He lauded Vietnam’s attractive investment environment, political and social stability, high economic growth, improved legal environment, and young and dynamic population.

Apart from major companies such as Airbus and Peugeot, many French small-and medium-sized enterprises operate in Vietnam , he said, referring to business opportunities in transport infrastructure and agro-forestry-fisheries.-VNA