Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung left Hanoi on September 23 for a three-day official visit to France from September 24-26 at the invitation of French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

The PM will also attend the High-level Meetings of the 68 th Session of the United Nation General Assembly in the US from September 26-28.

Raising Vietnam-France relations to new heights

France is one of the leading European partners of Vietnam , and PM Dung’s visit aims to affirm the strategic importance of the Vietnam-France relations while seeking to raise bilateral ties to new heights.

The two sides have set up a strong development framework on the back of nearly 20 cooperation deals and a series of dialogues and consultations.

France is the third largest European trade partner of Vietnam , with last year’s two-way trade hitting 3.2 billion USD.

In terms of investment, the country ranks second among European investors and 15 th among all countries and territories investing in Vietnam , with over 3 billion USD in 375 valid projects by December 31, 2012.

At the same time, France has always maintained the position as the top European donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Vietnam with almost 340 million USD committed for 2013.

The cooperation between the two countries also spans various fields, from education-training, health care, science-technology to justice and security-defence. Education is a priority of France ’s cooperation with Vietnam , focusing on the teaching of the French language and tertiary training on economic management, banking, finance, law and new technology.

On the international arena, Vietnam and France have been cooperating closely at international and regional forums including the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and ASEAN-EU.

Vietnam – an active and responsible member of the UN

The 68th session of the UN General Assembly will review the implementation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and kick-start the process of building a UN development agenda for the post-2015 era.

The attendance of PM Dung at the High-level Meetings of the session, is part of Vietnam ’s policy to further international integration and seeks to affirm that Vietnam is an active and responsible member of the UN. It will also promote the relations between Vietnam and the UN in general and the UN agencies in particular.

PM Dung is expected to address the High-level Meeting on September 27, sharing Vietnam ’s experiences in implementing the MDGs.

In addition, the PM is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the High-level Meetings to enhance the ties between Vietnam and other countries.-VNA