Two-way trade between Vietnam and France was estimated to reach 3.3 billion EUR (4.35 billion USD) in 2012, of which Vietnam’s exports was over 3 billion USD, nearly 10 times the figure of 380 million USD in 2000.

According to Commercial Counsellor Nguyen Canh Cuong, Vietnam exports mobile phone, electronic parts, furniture, household utensils, garment, footwear, seafood and coffee while importing pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, machines, energy equipment and transport vehicles.

Cuong noted that Vietnamese businesses are facing difficulties in the French market such as the local economic slowdown, severe competitions from China, India, Central and Eastern European countries, Thailand, Malaysia and Brazil , local consumers’ strict requirements and high transport costs.

He suggested they build strategies to access the market, study rules, French people’s consumers’ tastes and culture as well as set up long-term partnership with local businesses.

Cuong also emphasised the need to hold trade promotion programmes and international fairs while strengthening ties with Vietnamese entrepreneurs in France.

Vietnamese companies should prepare investment and market expansion plans in face of possible advantages and disadvantages from the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), he said.

At present, France has 216 projects in Vietnam and third countries with a total realised investment of 3 billion USD. Around 240 French businesses are operating in 24 provinces and cities in Vietnam , employing more than 24,000 labourers.-VNA