The ninth decentralised cooperation conference between the Vietnamese and French localities closed in the French city of Brest on June 12 with seven cooperation agreements signed.

The deals mostly cover education and training.

On top of them were memoranda of understanding on cooperation programme for 2013 and beyond between Vietnam’s Hai Duong province and Sein Saint Denis region, and on funding for the development of Vietnam’s bays between the Agency of French Development (AFD) and Brest urban community.

The event, from June 9-12, was divided into six sessions talking about cooperation in education, tertiary training, health care, culture, sustainable development of urban areas, rural planning and development, economic diplomacy and development for locals.

Delegates shared cooperation experience and pointed out existing shortcomings needed to be addressed to forge a more favourable decentralised cooperation environment for sustainable development through improving working efficiency of local authorities and strengthening the Francophone community.

The two sides agreed to prioritise links in education and training, science-technology, health care, environment and French teaching in the time to come.

On the fringe of the event, businesses from Vietnam ’s provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dien Bien, Lam Dong, Kon Tum, and Dong Nai met with their partners from Bretagne , Brest , Rhone Aples and Midi Pyrene to seek cooperation chances.

An exhibition introducing Vietnamese localities also attracted visitors and the media.

As part of activities to mark the 2013 – 2014 Vietnam – France Year and the 40 th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties, the conference themed “Towards a new type of development: opportunities and responsibilities of Vietnamese and French localities, and local partners” gathered 350 delegates from 22 Vietnamese cities and provinces and 22 French localities.

The Vietnamese delegation to the event was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

The next conference will take place in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho in 2016.-VNA