Vietnam, France look towards closer decentralised bonds hinh anh 1At the seminar (Source:VNA)

Paris (VNA) - Cooperation between Vietnamese and French localities is one of the pillars to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries, heard a seminar in Paris on June25.

The event was attended by representatives of Hanoi, Can Tho, Phu Yen and Quang Ngai of Vietnam and those from France’s cities and organisations which have established decentralised cooperation with Vietnamese localities.

In his opening speech, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Thiep affirmed that Vietnamese localities have demonstrated  their initiative international cooperation and are ready to accelerate their efforts to achieve higher efficiency.

The two sides have done a lot in the past and have many projects still to implement, he noted.

Christophe Katsahian, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Department of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said one of France's priorities was to run international cooperation projects to bring the most benefits to citizens.

Vietnamese and French localities can support each other for mutual development through successful projects, he said.

According to Katsahian, more and more French localities are seeking opportunities for cooperation with Vietnam. Currently, more than 20 French localities are participating in development cooperation projects with Vietnamese peers.

This form of cooperation offers huge value to France and strengthens the institutional capabilities of Vietnamese localities.

A number of effective cooperation models are  between Brest and Hai Phong, Val-de-Marne and Yen Bai, Aquitaine and Thua Thien – Hue and Ile-de-France and Hanoi.

Nguyen Duc Chung, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Commmitee said relations between the capital city and Ile-de-France are an epitome of effective ties, especially in culture heritage preservation and development and urban planning and management.

On the occasion, the two localities signed an action programme for 2018-2021, focusing on the fields of development aid, expert exchange, direct investment, technology transfer, climate change adaptation, tourism, health, education,  high-tech  agriculture, e-government and administration reform.

Participants of the seminar debated the possibilities of promoting bilateral cooperation.

Representatives from Can Tho, Quang Ngai and Phu Yen introduced projects requiring investment in the localities, especially in tourism, hi-tech agriculture and food industry.

Meanwhile representatives from Choisy-le-roi said the city plans to implement a cultural centre project named “Vietnam House on the banks of the Seine River”.

According to participants from Seine-Saint-Denis, the province is working with Vietnam’s Hai Duong in environmental protection and wastewater treatment, training environmental engineers and treating waste in trade villages.

Jean-Claude Dardelet, Vice President of Toulouse city, took the occasion to detail preparations for the 11th Vietnam-France locality cooperation conference, scheduled for 2019 in Toulouse.

Cooperation between localities of Vietnam and France (decentralised cooperation) began in 1989 with the formation of Ile-de-France and Hanoi partnership.

Since the 1990s, this form of cooperation has been reinforced and developed, contributing to promoting friendship between the two countries’ localities.

The first decentralised cooperation conference was held in 1996 in Lille, France. Since 2005, the conference has been held alternately in the two countries’ provinces and cities every two or three years, aiming to strengthen the existing ties as well as facilitate stronger partnerships among Vietnamese and French localities.-VNA