France, Vietnam hold annual high-level economic dialogue

The event featured the participation of Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang, representatives of the Government Office, alongside relevant agencies and French partners.

In his speech, Minister Riester underlined the importance of this year's annual dialogue for the two countries, which enjoy a dynamic relationship formed through decades of effective co-operation across a variety of fields.

However, he noted that although there have been significant achievements recorded over the past 11 years of strategic partnership, the two countries still need to make greater efforts in order to continue to make new progress and face global challenges together. This should be done while simultaneously taking bilateral relations to new heights in a more sustainable and comprehensive manner.

According to Minister Riester, the Vietnamese side is increasingly present in value chains in the Indo-Pacific region whilst both countries are in a key region for global balance at present.

Vietnam represents also a major strategic economic partner of France in the Indo-Pacific region and throughout the wider world. Trade exchanges between the two countries has more than doubled after 10 years with EUR7.6 billion recorded in 2023.

Bilateral investment has also increased significantly over recent years with EUR1.5 billion of French foreign direct investment (FDI) going to the nation.

He said he believes that French businesses can support the country in achieving its ambitions and expressed his desire to join the Vietnamese side in fulfilling the set climate goals, including the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) which France, through the French Development Agency (AFD), has mobilized EUR 500 million for implementation.

Minister Riester voiced his hope that fruitful exchanges during the session will further contribute to deepening mutual understanding, strengthening bilateral relations, and paving the way for closer and more dynamic co-operation between the two countries.

In response, Deputy Minister Phuong emphasized the special significance of the eighth session which is the first meeting held directly after the COVID-19 pandemic and amid the joint strategic partnership continuing to enjoy strong developments across multiple fields, ranging from politics, diplomacy, security-defence, to trade-investment, culture-education, science-technology, and many important landmarks in the traditional co-operative relationship between the two countries.

france, vietnam hold annual high-level economic dialogue picture 2

 At the 8th session of the annual high-level economic dialogue between Vietnam and France

This session is also a follow-up after many meetings and phone calls conducted in 2023 between senior leaders of the two countries. It is viewed as an opportunity for both sides to hold in-depth exchanges on strategies, related economic policies, and issues regarding multilateral and bilateral relations, including investment co-operation programmes and projects which have captured special attention in recent times.

According to Deputy Minister Phuong, despite facing many uncertainties and challenges in terms of the world economic and political situation since the seventh session, economic, trade, and investment ties between the two countries have always been a pillar in the strategic partnership, achieving several remarkable developments.

France remains the nation’s fourth largest trading partner, whilst also being its second largest investor in the EU and taking the lead in Europe in providing official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam.

The fact shows that the two countries still boast huge potential for co-operation that needs to be exploited and developed in many aspects and through diverse forms.

The Vietnamese Deputy Minister outlined that relevant bilateral co-operation mechanisms, including the annual high-level economic dialogue, need to be actively promoted as a way of contributing to deepening the strategic partnership. This will contribute to bringing practical results consistent with orientations and conditions in each country towards an equal and mutually beneficial co-operative relationship in the future.

On the occasion, Deputy Minister Phuong also shared with his French partners the efforts made by the Vietnamese Government in promoting economic restructuring, proactive international integration, and improving the quality of economic growth based on increased productivity, innovation, creativity, and digital economic development.

At this meeting, the two sides stated that the mutual relationship has greatly progressed in a multitude of fields and also identified priority directions for future ties, including climate change response, green transformation, digital transformation, science and technology application, and semiconductor industry development.

The French side pledged to support Vietnam in training human resources and sharing experience moving forward, along with meeting Vietnam's development priorities.

At an earlier working session with the AFD, Deputy Minister Phuong and the French delegation discussed projects using AFD capital.

The French side is keen to accelerate projects that meet the selection criteria of the two sides for early implementation.

For projects that still have problems, the AFD hopes that the Vietnamese Government, through the Ministry of Planning and Investment, will create the best possible conditions for the projects to be deployed soon.

The Vietnamese side also expressed high hopes that the AFD will continue to support projects that the country is interested in and having difficulty with in terms of resources.

Vietnam therefore asked the AFD to continue to collaborate alongside the Ministry of Planning and Investment to improve and simplify administrative procedures, thereby bringing projects to life. The aim of this is to continue to attract special resources from the EU such as non-refundable aid, along with continued support for projects using AFD loans moving forward.

Source: VOV