Party official: Party chief's visits bolster ties with France, Cuba

The freshly-concluded visits to France and Cuba by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong created a new driving force and made important breakthroughs in bilateral ties, said head of the CPV Commission for External Relations, Hoang Binh Quan.

Head of the CPV Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan (Photo: VNA)
Head of the CPV Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan (Photo: VNA)

During an interview granted to the media to discuss the outcomes of the visits, Head of the CPV Commission for External Relations Quan said they were the first visits to Europe and Latin America by the Party chief during the 12th National Party Congress tenure.

The official visit to France took place at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of their bilateral strategic partnership. It was intended to create a new framework, orientations, and impetus to further deepen bilateral strategic partnership, especially in trade and investment.

Meanwhile, the Cuba State visit marked the first high-level meeting between the two countries since Leader Fidel Castro Ruz passed away. It took place at a time when Cuba recently successfully held an election for thier all-level People’s Councils and legislature for the 2018-2023, and strives to launch the policy of updating socio-economic development.

The visit strongly reflected the friendship and solidarity between the two Parties, States, and peoples, aiming to strongly support Cuba’s revolutionary cause and lift bilateral economic, trade, and investment ties to a greater height.

On the outstanding outcomes of the visits, he said the Vietnam – France Joint Statement and Vietnam – Cuba Joint Statement reflect the long-term vision, strategy, mutual determination, and political commitment to boost Vietnam – France, Vietnam – Cuba ties.

The two joint statements mentioned specific cooperation measures, from politics, national defence-security, economy, trade, investment, to culture, education-training, science-technology, law, agriculture, climate change response, localities’ cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges.

Both sides underscored the importance of regular meetings between leaders, strengthening political trust, and promptly orienting cooperation fields. French and Cuban leaders also promised to visit Vietnam soon.

On the occasion, the Vietnamese ministries and agencies signed a total of 43 cooperation agreements and economic deals in important fields with French and Cuban counterparts, including 21 agreements and 8 deals with France and 22 agreements and four deals with Cuba.

Vietnamese and French enterprises signed economic deals worth more than EUR10 billion across the aviation, information technology, energy, and infrastructure sectors.

The Party chief's meetings with leading French corporations and businesses brought them new insights into business opportunities in Vietnam. In particular, high-ranking leaders showed great determination to quickly sign and ratify the Vietnam – European Union Free Trade Agreement within the year, thus creating a new driving force and economic and investment opportunities for Vietnam and EU member states.

The Vietnamese leader encouraged French firms to increase their investments in Vietnam, especially in fields of France's strength and Vietnam's demand, such as information technology, clean energy, and organic agriculture.

Through the French Development Agency, France pledged to assist Vietnam in projects regarding climate change response, sustainable development, environment protection, disaster prevention, and green projects in the city.

While in the Latin American country, Cuban leaders committed all possible support to Vietnamese firms in their efforts to enter the Cuban market via signing projects, particularly in energy, telecommunications, tourism, construction, health services, industry, agriculture, food, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and transport.

During the Vietnam – Cuba Business Forum, the two countries’ businesses discussed in an open, practical and effective manner to bring investment opportunities to each other, especially when a new trade agreement between the two countries is to be signed soon.
The visits promoted common perceptions among high-ranking leaders about the need to work closely together to maintain peace and security amid rapid and complicated developments in the region and the world.

The Vietnamese Party chief together with French and Cuban leaders expressed support for a multi-polar world order based on multilateralism, saying he appreciated the role of the United Nations and committed to respecting independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, self-determination rights, and political regimes of each other. They stressed that all disputes need to be settled by peaceful means in respect for international law and the UN Charter.

The visits developed an extensive vision about interconnecting Vietnam – France ties with the development of ASEAN - EU as well as to Asia-Europe linkages, and attaching Vietnam – Cuba ties to the development of Latin America – Caribbean and Asia-Pacific ties.

The Vietnamese leader met French friends who helped the delegation of Paris Agreement negotiators 45 years ago, received France – Vietnam Friendship Association and Cuba – Vietnam Friendship Association members, met Vietnamese and Cuban young people, and paid tribute to Cuban war martyrs.

In Cuba, he presented a Golden Star Order, the noblest distinction of Vietnam, to President Raul Castro Ruz and officially announced that Vietnam has decided to waive all government debts owed by Cuba.

He also granted 5,000 tonnes of rice to Cuba and talked with members of the Vietnamese community in France and Cuba, during which he reiterated the Party and State’s consistent policy of considering the OV community an inseparable part of the Vietnamese nation and spoke highly of their contributions to national development and their role as a bridge connecting Vietnam with France and Cuba.

Regarding the prospects for Vietnam – France, Vietnam – Cuba ties, Head of the CPV Commission for External Relations Quan said both countries share strong political trust and the two peoples are closely-knitted, factors which have laid the foundation for extended ties. The two sides also share similar interests and viewpoints as well as supplementary cooperation potentials.

He expressed his optimism about the future of Vietnam’s ties with France and Cuba, believing that bilateral partnership will be propelled to ever greater heights that matches the level of their fine political relations.