France’s second largest region is accelerating its multi-faceted relations with Vietnam’s southern economic hub.
Bernard Soulage, vice president of the Rhone-Alpes council, led a mission to Ho Chi Minh City last week to concretise a memorandum of understanding for 2011-2014 cooperation between the two sides.
He said Rhone-Alpes was set to boost cooperation ties with the city in renewable energy, tourism, food processing, biotechnology, education, cultural exchanges, as well as in trade and investment, for the period.
Soulage and other Rhone-Alpes representatives signed some agreements on further cooperation with Ho Chi Minh City vice chairman Nguyen Huu Tin. Tin told them that the metropolis was eager to see the relationship cooperation between the two sides flourish.
One of the deals is to further develop PADDI, a centre on urban studies established in Vietnam in 2006, to carry out assistance programmes for the city. Meanwhile, the Lyon City-based ENTPE school for public transport is working with the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport to identify subjects for training human resources for the latter.
Soulage said France and Vietnam would celebrate the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2013 with a series of events in both countries, with some Rhone-Alpes contributions. As one of them, Lyon City of Rhone-Alpes would carry out a lighting project to highlight the Ho Chi Minh City Post Office next to the Notre Dame Cathedral. Lyon had also realised some lighting projects in Ho Chi Minh City.
Jean-Michael Daclin, vice chairman of Lyon City’s council, led a French business delegation to Ho Chi Minh City during the Soulage mission. Daclin introduced Lyon’s trade and investment advantages to Vietnamese potential partners.
France is one of the top 10 investors in Ho Chi Minh City with more than 120 investment projects, with combined capital of $760 million.
Rhone-Alpes was home to eight provinces with a population of about six million in all, said Soulage.
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