Paris, November 6 (VNA) – A conference themed “ Vietnam – a new strategic partner of France in Asia” was held in Paris on November 5 to introduce the investment environment in Vietnam.

Jointly organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in France and ESSEC Business School , the event drew the participation of nearly 100 delegates from French leading banks and enterprises such as Total, Technip, Societe Generale, Freyssinet, Carrefour and Avera.

Addressing the event, Philippe Pasdelou, President of ESSEC Business School highlighted the strengths of Vietnam ’s growing economy, as well as the country’s increasing influence and position in Southeast Asia and a stable political environment.

He noted that France is the second largest European provider of development assistance to Vietnam , which manifests France ’s policy of expanding its partnership with the Southeast Asian country.

Vietnamese Ambassador to France Duong Chi Dung reviewed the development process of Vietnam since the beginning of its renewal cause in 1986, the comprehensive integration into the international community, as well as the successful implementation of its socio-economic development strategy and policies of attracting foreign investment.

Since 1987, Vietnam has drawn nearly 11,000 projects with total investment of 211 billion USD, earning it the reputation as the third most attractive investment destinations in Asia after China and India , he noted.

Regarding the Vietnam-France economic, trade and investment cooperation, the diplomat said total two-way trade last year was 3.2 billion USD while the figure for the first six months of this year was 1.6 billion USD.

France is among leading trade partners of Vietnam in Europe and has become one of the country’s most important export markets, he said, adding that French companies have invested a total of 3.1 billion USD in 375 projects Vietnam .

The Ambassador stressed that big opportunities are opening up in economic and trade cooperation between the two countries after they upgraded their relations to a strategic partnership during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to France in September this year.

On the occasion, Vietnamese representatives introduced the country’s major export products including rice, coffee, rubber, cashew, pepper, garment and textile, footwear and aquatic products as well as the country’s importing demands.

They also answered questions on Vietnam ’s policies to encourage investment and incentives for investors.-VNA