Head of the CPV Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The freshly-concluded  visits to France and Cuba by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong created a new driving force and made important breakthroughs in bilateral ties, said head of the CPV Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan.

During an interview granted to the media on the outcomes of the visits, Quan said they were the first visits to Europe and Latin America by the Party chief during the 12th National Party Congress tenure.

The France official visit took place at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of bilateral strategic partnership. It aimed to create a new framework, orientations and driving force to further deepen bilateral strategic partnership, especially in trade and investment.

Meanwhile, the Cuba State visit marked the first high-level meeting between the two countries since Leader Fidel Castro Ruz passed away. It took place at a time when Cuba recently successfully held the election of all-level People’s Councils and legislature for the 2018-2023 and strives to launch the policy of updating socio-economic development.

The visit vividly reflected friendship and solidarity between the two Parties, States and peoples, aiming to strongly support Cuba’s revolutionary cause and lift bilateral economic, trade and investment ties to a greater height.

About outstanding outcomes of the visits, Quan said the Vietnam – France Joint Statement and Vietnam – Cuba Joint Statement reflect long-term vision and strategy and common high determination and political commitment to boost Vietnam – France, Vietnam – Cuba ties.

The two joint statements mentioned specific cooperation measures, from politics, national defence-security, economy, trade, investment, to culture, education-training, science-technology, law, agriculture, climate change response, localities’ cooperation and people-to-people exchange.

Both sides underscored the importance of regularly maintaining meetings between leaders, strengthening political trust and promptly orienting cooperation fields. French and Cuban leaders also promised to visit Vietnam soon.

On the occasion, the Vietnamese ministries and agencies signed a total of 43 cooperation agreements and economic deals in important fields and French and Cuban counterparts, including 21 agreements and 8 deals with France and 22 agreements and four deals with Cuba.

Vietnamese and French enterprises signed economic deals worth over 10 billion EUR across aviation, information technology, energy and infrastructure.

The Party chief's meetings with leading French corporations and businesses brought them new insight into business opportunities in Vietnam. In particular, high-ranking leaders showed high determination to soon sign and ratify the Vietnam – European Union Free Trade Agreement within this year, thus creating a new driving force and economic and investment opportunities for Vietnam and EU member states.

The Vietnamese leader encouraged French firms to increase investment in Vietnam, especially in fields of France's strength and Vietnam's demand such as information technology, clean energy and organic agriculture.

Via the French Development Agency, France pledged to assist Vietnam in projects regarding climate change response, sustainable development, environment protection, disaster prevention and green projects in the city.

While in the Latin American country, Cuban leaders committed all possible support to Vietnamese firms to enter the Cuban market via signing projects, particularly in energy, telecommunications, tourism, construction, health services, industry, agriculture, food, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and transport.

During the Vietnam – Cuba Business Forum, the two countries businesses discussed in an open, practical and effective manner to bring investment opportunities to each other, especially when a new trade agreement between the two countries is to be signed soon.

The visits promoted common perceptions of high-ranking leaders about the need to work closely together to maintain peace and security amidst rapid and complicated developments in the region and the world.

The Vietnamese Party chief together with French and Cuban leaders expressed support for a multi-polar world order based on multilateralism, appreciated the role of the United Nations and committed to respecting independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, self-determination rights and political regime of each other. They stressed that all disputes need to be settled by peaceful means in respect for international law and the UN Charter.

The visits developed an extensive vision about attaching Vietnam – France ties with the development of ASEAN - EU as well as Asia-Europe linkages, and attaching Vietnam – Cuba ties with the development of Latin America – Caribbean and Asia-Pacific ties.

The Vietnamese leader met French friends who helped the delegation of Paris Agreement negotiators 45 years ago, received France – Vietnam Friendship Association and Cuba – Vietnam Friendship Association members, met Vietnamese and Cuban young people and paid tribute to Cuban war martyrs.

In Cuba, he presented Golden Star Order, the most noble distinction of Vietnam, to President Raul Castro Ruz and officially announced that Vietnam has decided to waive all government debts owed by Cuba.

He also granted 5,000 tonnes of rice to Cuba and talked with Vietnamese community in France and Cuba, during which he reiterated the Party and State s consistent policy of considering the OV community abroad an inseparable part of the Vietnamese nation and spoke highly of their contributions to national development and their role as bridge connecting Vietnam with France and Cuba.

As regards the prospects of Vietnam – France, Vietnam – Cuba ties, Quan said both countries share high political trust and the two peoples are closely-knitted, which have laid a foundation for extended ties. The two sides also share similar interests and viewpoints as well as supplementary cooperation potentials.

Quan expressed his optimism about the future of Vietnam’s ties with France and Cuba, believing that bilateral partnership will propel to a greater height that matches their fine political relations.-VNA