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Vietnam, France to remove trade barriers

Staff writer |
Vietnam and France have agreed on the necessity of removing trade barriers and obstacles in market approaches through bilateral dialogues, including Vietnam lifting its ban on French beef.

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The agreement was reached during the third annual high-level economic dialogue chaired by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment (MPI) Nguyen Chi Dung and Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, in Hanoi on April 15.

The French side also proposed Vietnam to consider removing barriers to the import of French apples. The two sides reaffirmed the significance of the annual economic dialogue in implementing the bilateral strategic partnership reached in September 2013.

They welcomed the growth in trade with a 10.6% rise in 2014 to hit EUR3.54 billion ($3.76 billion).

Both sides voiced their support of fair and transparent trade exchanges. Vietnam suggested France help speed up the EU’s approval of the framework Partnership and Co-operation Agreement with Vietnam as well as the conclusion of negotiations for the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement in 2015.

Meanwhile, they highlighted that French projects in Vietnam, especially in science and technology as well as in aerospace, are evidence of joint efforts in enhancing co-operation and investment affiliation.

France has assisted Vietnam through preferential trade and export sponsorship while sharing its experience in building legal frameworks for public-private partnerships and providing official development assistance to Vietnam.

The two sides expressed their interest of increasing partnerships for sustainable growth, focusing on environmental protection, green production, emission reduction and climate change response.

This focus has been verified by a number of French projects in Vietnam, including a EUR20 million ($21.2 million) Support Programme to Respond to Climate Change in Vietnam and a EUR19.5 million ($20.7 million) general hospital project in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

French firms and research institutions are also eager to work with Vietnam in science research, healthcare and education.

According to MPI Deputy Minister Dung, opportunities for French businesses in Vietnam are plentiful, as Vietnam has a number of advantages in terms of investment environment, reformed institutions and policies coupled with low-cost labour and competitive infrastructure systems.

He pledged to create favourable conditions for French enterprises’ investment in Vietnam.


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