Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Thiep presents his credentials to French President Emmanuel Macron. (Photo: VNA)

Paris (VNA) – French President Emmanuel Macron hailed Vietnam’s increasing role in the region and the world while hosting a reception on August 31 for Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Thiep, who came to present his credentials.

Macron laid stress on the two countries’ similarities in benefits and stance in regional and global issues while expressing his hope to enhance Francophone cooperative ties with Vietnam.

He affirmed to pay a visit to Vietnam next year.

Ambassador Thiep, for his part, underlined that the France visit by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong in March 2018 opened a new period in the Vietnam-France strategic partnership.

Besides deepening the collaborative relations in the fields of economy-trade and security-defence, and Francophone, the visit boosted bilateral cooperation in e-government, he added.

The diplomat said Vietnam persistently pursues its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation, and diversification of international relations, while wishing that the French President would continue support for Vietnam during the country’s integration and development process.

Vietnam and France established diplomatic ties on April 12, 1973, and lifted their relations to a strategic partnership in 2013.

France is now a leading partner of Vietnam in Europe, ranking third among the European nations and 16th among the 114 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. It tops the European donors in official development assistance for Vietnam.

Investors from France have landed 500 projects valued at more than 2.8 billion USD in Vietnam.

Bilateral trade between the two countries has seen positive growth, with Vietnam having enjoyed continuous trade surplus since 2010.

In 2017, bilateral trade exceeded 4.6 billion USD, up 11.6 percent from the previous year. The figure included 3.3 billion USD worth of Vietnamese exports to France and 1.3 billion USD worth of imports from the European country, both increasing by over 11 percent year-on-year.

Vietnam’s key export staples to France were footwear, garments and textiles, household appliances, agro-forestry-aquatic products, gemstones, jewellery, electronics, mechanical tools, pottery, rubber, coal, plastic products, and rattan and bamboo handicrafts.

There are more than 300,000 Vietnamese living and working in France.-VNA