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French, Vietnamese businesses discuss ways to strengthen cooperation

Thursday, September 08, 2016, 20:08 GMT+7

A French-Vietnamese business forum took place in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday, gathering nearly 300 enterprises operating in different sectors.

The ‘French-Vietnamese Business Forum 2016’ was held at Sofitel Saigon Plaza Hotel in District 1.

Being organized within the framework of the visit of French President François Hollande to Vietnam, the event was the opportunity for companies from both countries to discuss cooperation and forge partnership to promote sustainable growth in Vietnam.

It also focused on exchanging ideas on potential sectors in the Vietnamese market, including agro-food and healthcare.

Speaking at the forum, Nicolas Du Pasquier, chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, highly appreciated the effort of Vietnam in economic development in recent years.

The Southeast Asian country has become an emerging commercial hub in the region thanks to the government’s bid to proactively integrate into the international economy, he said.

The number of middle-class consumers who have a keen interest in service and product quality has increased rapidly, the French chairman added.

According to Martine Pinville, Minister of State for Commerce, Small-Scale Industry, Consumer Affairs and the Social and Solidarity Economy, strongly supported Vietnam in accomplishing a number of free trade agreements, especially a pact between Vietnam and the EU.

The Vietnam-EU free trade accord was reached in August last year, and would probably take effect in late 2017 or in 2018.

It is expected to offer businesses from both sides more opportunities to cooperate.

The forum also saw the signature of two agreements between French and Vietnamese companies.

The first agreement was meant to extend and strengthen the partnership between Sanofi and Vinapharm, two big companies in the pharmaceutical sector.

The second between Neovia Vietnam, Grimaud Group, Le Boucher, and the Animal Husbandry Association of Vietnam kicked off a project in pig farming which will provide consumers with healthy, safety pork.

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Binh Minh/Tuoi Tre News

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