Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)'s resident correspondents in Paris, Thang said it is the first visit to France by a Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs since the two countries upgraded their relationship to a strategic partnership a decade ago. It is also meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.

He added that the visit also demonstrates the important interference of the foreign policies of Vietnam and France, which both strongly head towards cooperation, peace, security and development. As a key player in Europe, France is actively following a dynamic and comprehensive policy towards the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, Vietnam, with its active and proactive integration policy, along with development achievements and growth potential, is enhancing its position in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and regional cooperation mechanisms, while continuing to vigorously pursue a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance and tightening relations with key partners in Europe.

The visit will contribute to exploring new directions of cooperation to meet the urgent and diverse requirements of the current period, including sustainable development, enhancing self-reliance, and consolidating the two countries' positions amidst the ongoing global economic shifts.

The ambassador affirmed that Vietnam and France are standing in front of numerous opportunities to elevate their cooperation to a new height in the coming years and decades, driven by the determination of leaders, the support of people from walks of life, and the active engagement of partners across all fields.

According to the diplomat, while in France, Son is scheduled to meet the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Secretary-General of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), and the Secretary-General of the OECD to further deepen relations with these organizations.

As the co-chair of the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Program (SEARP) for the 2022-2025 period, Vietnam is making positive contribution to promoting relations between the OECD and Southeast Asia, he said, adding that Vietnam has been actively joined in activities of the OECD Development Center in various fields, including economy, finance, education, gender equality, and more. Every year, Vietnam makes significant contribution to the OECD Development Center's Economic Outlook reports for Southeast Asia, China, and India. In 2024, Vietnam, together with Australia and other members of the SEARP Office, will organize important events to mark the 10th anniversary of the SEARP.

Commenting on the prospects of cooperation between Vietnam and the OECD, Thang stressed that the OECD currently has practical projects to assist Vietnam in reviewing the effectiveness of policies and development needs of the economy, such as digital economy and green growth. In the financial sector, Vietnam has officially joined in the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and signed the Multilateral Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAAC), which are important steps towards transparency in Vietnam's tax and financial system during its integration with the global financial system.

The OECD MCM 2023 will be the first attended by Vietnam at the ministerial level, where the country is expected to make practical contributions to the meeting's focal themes.

At this year's event, the OECD also aims to strengthen cooperation with Southeast Asia and beyond, including the Indo-Pacific. For the first time, the OECD will establish a framework for the Indo-Pacific to shape a common policy for the region.

Source: VNA