The relations between Vietnam and France have seen impressive developments over the past three years, said Vietnamese Ambassador to France Le Kinh Tai.

Ambassador Tai made the remark during a farewell banquet for foreign guests at the Vietnamese Embassy in Paris before he finishes his term of office in this country.

The developing bilateral relationship was marked by the Vietnam visit by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon in November 2009 and the France visit by Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc in February this year, he said, adding that these visits opened up new prospects for the partnership between the two countries in various fields, especially in economics.

The ambassador emphasised outstanding projects which he said are “good and effective symbols of the development of cooperative ties between the two countries, including Vietnam Airlines’ fleet development project by 2020 with a proposal to buy France ’s Airbus A380 planes and projects to build the first metro route in Hanoi and the Hanoi University of Science and Technology.

They are the projects that created a momentum for building the Vietnam-France strategic partnership, he said.

The ambassador affirmed France ’s position as a “gateway” for Vietnam to enter European countries and Vietnam ’s position as a “bridge” linking France and Southeast Asian nations.

The Vietnamese diplomat thanked ambassadors and diplomats for their effective assistance over the past 40 years in the framework of sub-regional cooperation as well as social and charitable activities.

He affirmed that the Vietnamese community in France is one of the important communities in Europe, which has been acting as an important bridge between Vietnam and France .

On the occasion, the ambassador informed his guests of a decision by the two countries’ leaders to select 2013 as the Vietnam Cultural Year in France and the French Cultural Year in Vietnam as part of activities to celebrate the 40 th anniversary of Vietnam-France diplomatic ties./.