With a view to taking Vietnam-France relations to new heights, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung left Hanoi on Monday for a three-day official visit to France starting from September 24.
PM Dung’s visit, which is made at the invitation of his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, is aimed at affirming the strategic importance of the Vietnam-France relations while seeking to bring the bilateral ties to a strategic partnership.
France is one of the leading European partners of Vietnam, and the two countries have set up a strong development framework on the back of nearly 20 cooperation deals and a series of dialogues and consultations.
With 375 valid investment projects worth over US$3 billion by December 31, 2012, France ranks second among European investors and 15th among all countries and territories investing in Vietnam. With last year’s two-way trade amounting to $3.2 billion, France is also the third largest European trade partner of Vietnam.
In addition, France has always maintained the position as the top European donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Vietnam with almost $340 million pledged for this year.
The two countries have been cooperating in various fields, including education, training, health care, science, technology, justice, security and defense. Among these fields, education is a priority of France’s cooperation with Vietnam, with focus put on the teaching of the French language and tertiary training on economic management, banking, finance, law and new technology.
Besides, Vietnam and France have also been supporting each other at international and regional forums.