Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and his French counterpart Edouard Philippe witness the signing of cooperation agreements between the two countries (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his French counterpart Edouard Philippe affirmed their determination to deepen the Vietnam-France strategic partnership for shared benefit during their talks in Hanoi on November 2 as part of the French PM’s ongoing visit to Vietnam.

PM Phuc lauded the tour to Vietnam by PM Edouard Philippe, saying it is the second high-level visit between the two countries in 2018 after the France visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in March.

The two sides agreed to increase delegation exchanges at all levels, especially high level, while promoting the role of coordination and direction mechanisms for bilateral cooperation, and forging stronger partnership in politics, economy, defence, science-technology, culture, and education-training.

The two leaders underscored that economic collaboration continues to be a priority in bilateral ties, stressing the need to speed up major joint projects and foster the relationship between Vietnam and the European Union.

PM Edouard Philippe stated that France supports the early signing and ratification of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU, underlining France’s commitment to maintaining development cooperation with Vietnam in the future.

Both sides concurred to promote collaboration in building e-government and modernising State administrative governance, which is a new and promising cooperation area.

They will encourage and create favourable conditions for businesses of both sides to enhance their economic and investment partnership in areas of France’s strength and Vietnam’s demand such as infrastructure, energy, aviation-aerospace, health care, science-technology, communications, climate change response, and smart city.

They highlighted the significance of cooperation in education and training, including the development of the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi to an international-standard facility.

The two sides agreed to expand ties in culture, stressing the determination to turn cultural institutions of each country into centres for cultural cooperation and exchange, including the Vietnamese Cultural Centre in France and the French Institute in Vietnam.

They shared the hope to strengthen partnership in security and defence as well as increase visits of French military ships to Vietnam, and support Vietnam in joining UN peacekeeping operations.

The two PMs agreed to enhance coordination in ensuring the success of the 11th conference on cooperation between Vietnamese and French localities scheduled for early April 2019 in Toulouse, France.

They pledged to work closely at multilateral forums, especially the UN and the Francophonie, while supporting each other in developing relations between France and Asia Pacific countries as well as between Vietnam and EU members.

The two sides will also promote collaboration in coping with global challenges, especially climate change.

Both Vietnamese and French PMs stressed the significance of ensure peace, stability and strengthening regional and international cooperation. They affirmed their commitments to maintaining navigation and aviation freedom, and solving disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

The French PM showed his hope to enhance the role of France in the Asia-Pacific region.

The same day, PM Phuc and PM Edouard Philippe witnessed the signing of a number of agreements of cooperation between the two countries in various areas, including training, e-government development, health care, climate change response, environmental protection, urban management, aviation, and energy.-VNA