Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) and Stephanie Do, President of the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
 Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has urged the Vietnam-France and France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Groups to increase exchanges for better mutual understanding of each other’s country and people.

At a reception for Stephanie Do, President of the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group (FVFPG) in Hanoi on July 17, Ngan shared her good impression about her official visit to France in April 2019, during which she met with President of the Senate of France Gerand Larcher, President of the National Assembly of France Richard Ferrand, and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. 

She said the French leaders reiterated their support for the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), showing the effective strategic partnership between Vietnam and France.

Do said Vietnam-France relations have been growing over the past more than 45 and the bilateral trust has been demonstrated through high-level visits in recent time.

She described Ngan’s official visit to France in April as a turning point in the strong development of parliamentary cooperation between Vietnam and France as well as between their localities.

Do said, as a member of the French NA and FVFPG President, she is willing to make contributions to the bilateral friendship and cooperation as well as their coordination on the international arena. 

The guest also expressed her pleasure at the active implementation of bilateral cooperation projects, including the project on the building of an e-government.

The priority in the coming time will be given to strengthening cooperative ties between Vietnamese and French businesses and encouraging more Vietnamese students to study in France, she said.

Do urged Vietnam and France to pay due attention to ecological protection, especially when the EVFTA was signed, as well as obey the Paris agreement on climate change in 2015.

Ngan said the friendly relations between Vietnam and France have been growing strongly and sustainably, especially after the establishment of strategic partnership in 2013, and affirmed that Vietnam always attaches great importance to relations with France in its external policy.

The Chairwoman underlined economic cooperation as an important pillar in the bilateral strategic partnership. France is the third biggest European investor in Vietnam with 512 projects worth 2.8 billion USD, and the fourth largest trade partner of Vietnam in Europe with two-way trade hit 5.1 billion USD in 2018, she noted.

Vietnam highly appreciated France’s policy on strengthening economic partnership with the Southeast Asian country, she said, adding that more than 200 French enterprises are operating in Vietnam and close to 215,000 French tourists visited Vietnam in 2018.

Vietnam hoped France will maintain the provision of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam, focusing on sustainable development cooperation in the fields of environment, agriculture, forestation, and natural disaster prevention, Ngan said, expressed her thanks to France for supporting Vietnam in climate change adaptation.

The top legislator asked the two sides to increase connections and support for businesses to access their markets. Vietnam is willing to create all possible conditions for French businesses to join investment projects in Vietnam in various fields such as infrastructure, clean energy, renewable energy, smart city, and health care, she said.

The Chairwoman asked France to support Vietnam to export its farm produce and aquatic products to distribution systems in France and the European Union.

The locality-to-locality cooperation is a special feature in Vietnam-France relations, which has helped promote the bilateral strategic partnership, Ngan said, noting that 38 French localities have set up cooperative or twin ties with 18 Vietnamese cities and provinces.

Regarding the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Ngan said Vietnam is making every effort to have the EU’s “yellow card” removed and perform the EU’s recommendations, including the implementation of the Law on aquaculture, the national action programme on IUU, and development of international cooperation in fishing. Therefore, she asked France to persuade the EU to soon lift the “yellow card” on Vietnamese aquatic products.

The Chairwoman also hoped Do and other members of the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group to continue supporting the overseas Vietnamese community in France.-VNA