Vietnam, France sign and exchange 17 cooperative agreements
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has told reporters that he and his French counterpart Edouard Philippe had a successful talk and witnessed the signing and exchange of 17 cooperative agreements.
At a media conference after their talk in Hanoi on Friday, PM Phuc said France is always Vietnam's top partner. Both sides reconfirmed the pivotal role of defense cooperation and agreed to maintain the strategic dialogue and defense cooperation mechanism between the two countries' Ministries of Defense and implement the signed agreements, including the joint vision on Vietnam-France defense ties. The Vietnamese PM said Vietnam applauded France's stance on the East Sea which respects international law and ensure freedom of navigation and overflight. PM Philippe told the media that his Vietnam visit aims to consolidate the relationship between the two countries. He added French businesses in Vietnam are confident in Vietnam's growth and investment opportunities here. During the visit, the French PM will meet leaders of Hanoi to discuss infrastructure development, inaugurate the French International School Alexandre Yersin, open the French Health Center, and attend the French Tech Viet Business Forum.
French media has given wide coverage on Prime Minister Edouard Philippe's Vietnam visit from Friday to Sunday, highlighting economic deals being signed. Le Figaro, La Croix, Le Point, L'Observateur, and France 24 TV and BFMTV reported on the signing of contracts worth 10 billion euros on Friday, including Vietjet Air's order to buy 50 Airbus aircrafts worth 5.7 billion euros. Le Figaro said France has yet fully tapped the Vietnamese market potential. French goods account for a modest market share of below 1%, behind Italy and only half of Germany's figure. The newspaper said Paris wants to remove all obstacles to strengthen ties with the Southeast Asian country.