Strengthening French-Vietnamese co-operation in infrastructure and satellite development

January 25, 2018 | 17:13
As Vietnam needs large capital for investment and development, French firms expressed their desire to strengthen bilateral co-operation in aviation, urban railway and satellite development.
Hanoi's Metro Line 3 will be a symbol of French-Vietnamese co-operation

At yesterday’s high-level dialogue between Vietnam and France, the representative of ADP Ingenierie (under Aeroports de Paris Group) informed that the company has just signed a contract with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to review and provide possible master plans for Tan Son Nhat International Airport, which receives 45-50 million arrivals annually.

ADP hopes to further co-operate and support the Vietnamese aviation industry to improve capacity and meet the fast-evolving customer demand.

Vietnam’s current private airplane fleet includes nine Airbus A350, three Airbus A330, and over 60 Airbus A321 and 10 Boeing 787s. “These figures confirm the belief of Vietnamese carriers in France’s Airbus planes and its maintenance services,” said Nguyen The Phuong, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment (MPI).

Earlier, Vietnamese carriers bought 40 airplanes worth $6.5 billion from France’s Airbus in September 2016. Of these, Vietjet bought 20, and Vietnam Airlines and JetStar Pacific ten each. Thus, Airbus expressed its desire to further develop the partnership between Airbus and Vietnamese carriers in the coming time.

Regarding the development co-operation, France is one of the leading European countries providing official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, with around EUR3 billion ($3.7 billion). This ODA focuses on agriculture, basic infrastructure, water supply, health, and finance.

Particularly, France is co-donor (along with ADB and EIB) of the pilot 12.5-kilometreMetro Line 3 that goes from the central station to western Hanoi, with a 4km underground section. This is the most important project that France has ever funded in Vietnam and carries an ODA of EUR514 million ($634 million), including EUR335 million in preferential loans from the French Treasury and EUR179 million from French Development Agency.

At the high-level bilateral dialogue, Martin Landais, head of the Asia Division of the French Treasury, said: “Constructing an elevated metro is faster than the underground option, so we should launch the first phase of the project to meet the transport demand of Hanoi soon. We are always ready to provide preferential loans for the project.”

Related to ODA loans,MPI proposed France to provide EUR200 million ($247 million) of annual ODA loans to projects on infrastructure, agriculture, education, and coping with climate change in Vietnam.

Based on the success of VNREDSat-1 (Vietnam Natural Resources, Environment and Disaster-monitoring Satellite-1) and its efficiency in socioeconomic development and coping with natural disasters and climate change, France’s Collecte Localisation Satellites Group (CLS) suggests Vietnam to develop VNREDSat-2. France will support Vietnam to prepare infrastructure, technical skills, and finance.

Earlier, in May 2013, Vietnam's first remote sensing satellite (VNREDSat-1) was successfully launched into orbit. The French government provided the preferential ODA of EUR55.8 million ($68.8 million) to this project.

As of the end of 2017, there were 506 French-invested valid projects with total registered investment capital of $2.78 billion. France ranks 16th among the 128 nations and territories investing in Vietnam with an average investment capital of $5.5 million per project. Meanwhile, Vietnam has nine investment projects in France with total registered capital of $3.46 million.

As for co-operation in trade, two-way trade turnover was $4.6 billion in 2017, up 11.6 per cent on-year. Vietnam’s export turnover to France was $3.35 billion, while the import turnover was $1.27 billion.

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to be signed this year, will further strengthen trade and investment co-operation between the two countries in the coming time.

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By By Nguyen Huong

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