Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) meet with Minister of State attached to France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne on January 24 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh met with Minister of State attached to France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne in Hanoi on January 24.

Deputy PM Minh lauded the outcomes of the two countries’ fifth high-level economic dialogue earlier on January 24 and the progress in their partnership.

He appreciated Vietnamese and French agencies’ efforts in preparing for the celebrations of 45 years of diplomatic ties and five years of the strategic partnership.

As France is a leading European economic partner of Vietnam, the French Government should encourage the country’s enterprises to step up business activities in Vietnam, he noted.

He also asked the European nation to help Vietnam realise the commitments in the Paris Agreement on climate change and support the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

The Vietnamese Government pledges favourable conditions for French firms to access markets and invest and do business in fields that France is strong at such as infrastructure, energy, health care and pharmaceuticals, food industry and agriculture, he said.

For his part, Minister of State Lemoyne hailed Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements, international integration and the successful APEC Year 2017. He also welcomed the bilateral agenda for 2018, especially upcoming high-ranking visits.

He affirmed that the French Government prioritises intensifying the countries’ strategic partnership.

[Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue]

At the meeting, the two officials agreed to promote educational cooperation on the basis of common cultural, historical and language values. Lemoyne emphasised Vietnam’s role in the Francophone community and France’s wish to continue developing the French language in Vietnam.

The two sides noted with satisfaction that their countries agree on many issues such as advocating multilateralism and free trade, supporting each other at international forums like the United Nations and the Asia-Europe Meeting and contributing to the settlement of international affairs like peace and security, climate change and counter-terrorism.

Cooperation mechanisms on politics, economy and defence also need to be maintained so as to create trust, they said.

With regard to the East Sea issue, Lemoyne affirmed his country’s interest in exercising the principle of freedom, safety and security of navigation in the region. The officials agreed to call on involved parties to fulfill international obligations and avoid activities that could complicate the situation or raise tensions.

They affirmed that all disputes must be resolved by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.-VNA