A seminar to promote cooperation between localities of France and Vietnam took place in Brest city, France on June 10.

As part of activities during the France-Vietnam Exchange Year to mark the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, the seminar aimed to build traditional, comprehensive, long-term and reliable strategic partnerships between localities of the two nations.

Addressing the event, French Minister of Development Pascan Canfin said the seminar offers a chance for those who engage in cooperation activities and social organisations to share experience and discuss ways to boost cooperation between Vietnamese and French localities.

Local-level projects jointly implemented by the two sides recently have contributed effectively to the development of Vietnam and France, he noted.

Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son underlined the importance of the seminar, which took place in the context that the two countries are looking forward to establishing a strategic partnership in 2013.

France is now one of Vietnam’s largest European trade partners and investors, Son said, adding that it is always one of the leading providers of official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam over more than one decade.

French-funded projects have helped Vietnamese localities reduce poverty and boost socio-economic development, he said.

Participants at the seminar focused their discussion on education and training, health care and culture in the Francophone community; sustainable urban and rural planning and development; and sustainable economic development and cooperative tools serving local-level economic diplomacy.-VNA