The visit takes place in the context that the Vietnam-France strategic partnership is on a positive growth momentum. The two countries will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations and 10 years of their strategic partnership in 2023.

Vietnam and France set up diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level on April 12, 1973. In September 2013, the two countries established a strategic partnership on the occasion of then Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's visit to France.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will pay an official visit to France from November 3 to 5.

Regarding the exchange of high-level delegations, the leaders of the two nations have regularly visited each other. The most recent were the visit to Vietnam by then French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in November 2018 and the France visit by then Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in April 2019. The two sides have regularly maintained cooperation mechanisms, including a defense-security strategic dialogue and an annual high-level economic dialogue.

France is Vietnam's fifth largest European trading partner after Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, and Italy. Bilateral trade in 2020 reached 4.81 billion USD. As of July 2021, France ranked third among European countries (after the Netherlands and the U.K.) and 16th out of 140 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 605 projects worth 3.6 billion USD in total.

In development cooperation, France is Vietnam’s leading bilateral European ODA donor while Vietnam ranks 2nd among countries receiving France’s ODA in Asia. To date, France has provided Vietnam with a total of 3 billion EUR in concessional loans.

In defense-security collaboration, France was the first Western country to have a defense attaché to Vietnam in 1991. During the recent visits by the defense ministers of the two countries, the two sides agreed that Vietnam and France share a strategic partnership in the field of defense.

Education and training cooperation between the two countries has been formed and developed since the early 1980s, with France always considering the sector a priority goal of its collaboration activities in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, their bilateral cultural – tourism engagements and cultural exchanges are increasingly developing. Every year, the French Government spends about 5 million EUR on cultural cooperation with Vietnam.

Concerning the medical arena, there are currently 30 joint projects on medicine and paramedicine training cooperation such as those on resident doctor training at French hospitals. They are funded by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ hospital partnership funds, the Network for Therapeutic Solidarity in Hospitals (ESTHER) and French hospitals’ private funds.

A prominent highlight in the Vietnam-France ties is the cooperation between their localities. Projects under such collaboration focus on health, education, water and sanitation, heritage conservation, Francophone community, rural development, and sustainable development.

Prime Minister Chinh's upcoming official visit to France will help reinforce the nations’ political trust, deepen their multifaceted cooperation, and boost bilateral relations toward effectiveness and practical outcomes, contributing to lifting their strategic partnership across all aspects of politics, diplomacy, economy, trade, investment, culture, education, and health care.

Source: VNA