Q - In regard to Vietnam, American president Joe Biden is signing a strategic partnership agreement with the country. What is the state of strategic relations between Paris and Hanoi?
R - This year, we are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations and 10 years of strategic partnership with Vietnam. Our strong ties are based on our long, shared history as well as our shared commitment to abiding by international law and to the international order based on the rule of law, notably in the Indo-Pacific region.
During his trip to Vietnam from February 28 to March 2, 2023, Olivier Becht, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed the importance we attribute to our economic cooperation with Vietnam as part of France’s Indo-Pacific strategy and the government’s support for strengthening France’s economic presence in the region.
Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna hosted her Vietnamese counterpart, Bui Thanh Son, on June 5 in Paris. The two ministers agreed to deepen the bilateral relationship by launching regular bilateral consultations to reinforce the strategic partnership; step up person-to-person connections in future-focused cooperation in culture, education, and science; and strengthen the partnership around challenges in the fight against global warming.
On this last point, France is mobilizing all its efforts to support Vietnam as it implements the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) that Vietnam signed with its G7 partners at the end of 2022. France will contribute €500 million in concessional loans to the effort.