Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai hosted a reception in Hanoi on July 22 for Fleur Pellerin, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Tourism Promotion and French Nationals Abroad of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

The Deputy PM took the occasion to reiterate Vietnam’s consistent policy of treasuring its strategic partnership with France, in which economic cooperation is an important pillar.

However, he said trade and investment ties have yet to match the two countries’ potential, thus suggesting France continue working closely with Vietnamese partners to speed up the effective implementation of bilateral cooperation projects and make it easier for French businesses to invest in the fields Vietnam is calling for investment, including new and renewable energy, high-tech industries and green technology.

Deputy PM Hai proposed that France diversify the forms of ODA provision, such as direct loans, decentralization, and public-private partnership.

He expressed his hope that France will help push for the signing of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union by the end of this year, as well as for the EU’s early recognition of Vietnam as a market economy.

Pellerin said she is delighted at the fine development of the France-Vietnam strategic partnership in politics, culture, diplomacy and economics, particularly since the official visit to France by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last September.

She expressed her hope that the Vietnamese Government will continue creating favourable conditions for French enterprises to do long-term business in Vietnam.

The official also said France appreciates the stance and measures taken by Vietnam in dealing with the East Sea issue.-VNA