Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem has praised the role of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Vietnam ’s development.

Deputy PM Khiem made the appraisal while receiving in Hanoi on May 6 AFD General Director Dov Zerah, who attended the 44th ADB annual meeting, which was freshly closed in Hanoi .

He named AFD’s contributions to poverty reduction, rural development, infrastructure construction, institutional building and finance in Vietnam , highlighting major projects which were important to the country’s socio-economic development, like the Hanoi urban railway route and the Huoi Quang hydropower plant.

Deputy PM Khiem asked AFD to continue assisting Vietnam in coming years, expanding to the fields of training human resources and teaching French.

He highly appreciated the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and France , as well as the leading European economic, investment and trade partner of France in Vietnam .

Zerah affirmed that Vietnam was one of five largest partners of AFD in the world besides Morocco , Tunisia , Turkey and South Africa , and praised Vietnam for standing in the group of favoured emerging markets (CIVETS) along with Colombia , Indonesia , Egypt , Turkey and South Africa .

“AFD considers cooperation with Vietnam as a priority,” he said.

He said that besides its large commitments on financial assistance, AFD’s disbursement is higher than the average rate.

He expressed his pleasure at the diversification of cooperation between AFD and Vietnam .

Earlier, on May 5, AFD signed three financing agreements with a combined capital of 22 million EUR with Vietnam. /.