Politburo member and Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Pham Quang Nghi visited France from June 21-24 to foster ties between Hanoi and French localities as well as the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

On June 22, Nghi visited Toulouse city where he had a meeting with the city’s Mayor and Chairman of the Toulouse metropolitan area Jean-Luc Moudenc.

Nghi spoke highly of the intensive partnership between the two cities over the past nearly two decades, especially in restoring and promoting the value of heritages and cultural relics, cultural exchange, education and training, architecture and urban planning.

Moudenc stated that Hanoi is an important partner that Toulouse hopes to maintain and enhance all-round ties with.

On June 23, the Hanoi leader had a working session with President of the Ile-de-France Regional Council Jean-Paul Huchon, during which he said Hanoi and the Ile-de-France region have enjoyed a sound collaboration over the past 25 years.

He thanked the Ile-de-France region for supporting and affiliating with Hanoi in various fields, including urban management and planning, public transport, environmental protection, heritage promotion and tourism.

The successful cooperation model between the two sides is typical for ties between Vietnamese and French localities with many joint projects, especially in urban planning and cultural heritage conservation, said Nghi.

He noted that since Hanoi expanded by three times in 2008, the city’s population has reached nearly 10 million, contributing 10 percent to the country’s GDP and 20 percent to the total State budget collection.

Hanoi’s top priority is building a master plan for its development, he said, stressing that the city hopes to receive French consultations, as this is an area of France’s strength and expertise.

The two sides discussed strategic orientations for the bilateral partnership with the aim to build on the strong points of their local cooperation model over the past years.

They agreed to finalise a cooperation agreement for the 2016-19 period for signing. The agreement will focus on boosting economic growth, trade-investment, urban and regional planning, environment and climate change response, heritage restoration and conservation, tourism and vocational training.

After the meeting, Nghi paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at a monument dedicated to the late leader in Montreau Park in Paris’ outskirt city of Montreuil and visited the Ho Chi Minh space at the Museum of Living History.

Also on June 23, Nghi and the Vietnamese delegation had a meeting with leaders of the Communist Party of France (PCF), including Jean-Charles Negre, Politburo member and standing member of the PCF Secretariat, and Lydia Samarbakhsh, Politburo member and Head of the PCF Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations.

Nghi briefed the hosts on the political and economic situation in Vietnam, the country’s foreign relations and preparations for the 12th Party Congress.

Jean-Charles Negre stated that the PCF and the Communist Party of Vietnam have shared a special and time-honoured relationship closely attached with President Ho Chi Minh, one of the founders of the PCF.

He said that in the current context of a changing world and regional situation, the two parties have continued to actively seek new cooperation contents to further their ties. The PCF is also preparing for a Vietnam visit by National Secretary Pierre Laurent as well as the second theory conference between the two parties at the end of this year.

The events are expected to create new momentum for the growth of the two parties’ relations while reinforcing the theory foundation of both sides, he said.

For his part, Nghi affirmed that the CPV attaches importance to developing relations with the PCF, expressing his hope that the two parties will further their ties towards a stronger partnership between the two nations.-VNA