President Truong Tan Sang has suggested to a visiting delegation of the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Group (FVFPG) led by its President Christian Poncelet that France increase ODA provision as well as direct investment to Vietnam.

In receiving the delegation in Hanoi on Sept. 11, President Sang said the Vietnamese Prime Minister is scheduled to visit France this month, and during the visit, the Vietnam-France ties are expected to be elevated to a strategic partnership.

Therefore, investment and trade ties between Vietnam and France need to be upgraded and expanded to match their strategic partnership, he said, adding that France should assist Vietnam in the negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Union.

For his part, Poncelet agreed that the two countries’ trade and investment relations are yet to reflect their potential, adding that France wants to boost cooperation with Vietnam in various fields.

He also expressed wish that Vietnam will continue serving as a gate to help France penetrate further into the Asian market while France will create favourable conditions for Vietnam to enter the EU market.

On the same day, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung also had a meeting with the French delegation.

At the reception, Chairman Hung voiced hope that the two countries’ legislative bodies will continue to widen their ties and strengthen delegation exchanges and the sharing of experience in law-making.

In addition, he highly valued the activities of the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Group, which contribute greatly to the cooperation ties between the two legislative bodies.

The chairman invites the French parliament to attend the 132 nd International-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly which Vietnam will host in 2015.

Poncelet said Vietnam and France share many similarities in numerous areas, which serves as a favourable condition for the two nations to step up multifaceted cooperation and exchanges.

He affirmed that France attaches much importance to establishing its strategic partnership with Vietnam, which is expected to bring about practical outcomes, opening up a new chapter in the traditional relations between the two countries and meeting the two peoples’ expectations.-VNA