French Senate President Gérard Larcher arrived in Hanoi on December 8 morning, beginning an official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.
French Senate President Gérard Larcher (Sorce: quochoi.vn)
The visit, from December 8-9, is the first between the two countries’ legislative leaders after the Covid-19 pandemic was brought under control.
Larcher is accompanied by Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and the Armed Forces Christian Cambon, Chairwoman of the Senate's Social Affairs Committee and President of the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group of the Senate Catherine Deroche, Special Advisor to the Senate President Patrick Dray, and Diplomatic Advisor to the Senate President Hubert de Canson, among others.
The visit is an important event towards the 50th founding anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and 10 years since the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2023.
It is expected to contribute to consolidating and deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries, as well as the friendship and cooperation between the Vietnamese National Assembly and the French Parliament.
The Vietnam-France relationship is developing fruitfully across fields. The two countries have established an array of cooperation mechanisms such as the strategic dialogue on national defence and security between their foreign and defence ministries, the annual high-level economic dialogue and the strategic dialogue on defence at the deputy ministerial level.
France is Vietnam’s fifth largest trade partner in Europe, after Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Italy, with two-way trade reaching US$4.8 billion in 2021, a slight decrease from the $4.81 billion of the previous year. As of the end of June 2022, the bilateral trade revenue had stood at $2.5 billion, of which Vietnam’s imports from France were valued at $0.8 billion .
As of September 2019, France had ranked third among the European investors in Vietnam, after the Netherlands and the UK, and 16th among the 114 countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian nation, with 549 valid projects worth some $5.76 billion. Meanwhile, Vietnam has had nine projects in France with a total investment of $3.04 million.
France is the leading European ODA provider of Vietnam, and the Southeast Asian nation ranks second among the Asian recipients of the French assistance.