At the meeting, the two sides reviewed a number of cooperation results between Vietnam and OIF over the past time. Since its official membership of OIF in 1970, Vietnam has always been an active member, playing an important role in OIF in the Asia-Pacific region in all three aspects of economic, cultural and educational cooperation.

At the meeting (Photo: congthuong.vn)

Vietnam and OIF countries have complementary and compatible conditions for mutual development. Vietnam has an important role and the right conditions for strengthening intra-regional linkages and forming a closed production-consumption supply chain stretching from Africa which is the supplier of input materials for some industries in Vietnam, to Europe and North America which are Vietnam’s main export markets.

In contrast, the Francophone economic space is also a large market area of Vietnam covering free trade agreements that Vietnam has joined, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and the Regional Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (RCEP). These are important foundations for Vietnam and the OIF to implement the Francophonie Economic Strategy 2020-2025, which was adopted at the 37th Session of the Francophonie Ministerial Meeting on November 24 and 25, 2020 in Tunisie.

According to Mr. Chékou Oussouman, the first activity to implement the strategy is the official visit to Vietnam by Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo, OIF Secretary General, scheduled in October 2021. On this occasion, OIF is expected to organize a large business delegation from OIF member countries coming to Vietnam and Cambodia to promote trade and investment promotion activities and business contacts.

Minister Nguyen Hong Dien expressed his appreciation and thanks to OIF for always appreciating Vietnam's role in connecting members of the Francophone Community. He suggested that OIF further strengthen its role in coordinating the capacity of member countries, rationally using resources in the new context to seize cooperation opportunities between Vietnam and Francophone countries in the fields of trade, industry and investment.

Welcoming the OIF's working delegation to Vietnam and highly appreciating the OIF's trust in choosing Vietnam as the first destination for a post-COVID high-level official visit, he pledged to coordinate with relevant agencies to make the event a success.

The OIF includes 88 member countries with a total population of 500 million people on 5 continents, accounting for nearly 20% of world trade, creating an economic area with strong development prospects and great potential to promote economic cooperation among member countries.

Currently, Vietnam is considered to be in the core developing group, having a voice in the planning and implementation of cooperation strategies of the Francophone community in all fields of economy, politics, culture, language, education and training, and especially economic cooperation.

Vietnam has trade exchanges with 44 of 54 official member countries of OIF. In the period of 2017 - 2019, trade exchange between Vietnam and OIF member countries always had stable growth and recorded the highest level of USD26.7 billion in 2019. In 2020, due to the impact of COVID-19, the import and export turnover between the two sides decreased by 9.5%, reaching USD24.2 billion; however, in the first 6 months of 2021, the turnover growth began to recover. In terms of investment, by the end of 2020, 16 of 54 OIF member countries had investment activities in Vietnam, with 1,450 projects and a total investment of nearly USD16 billion USD./.

Compiled by BTA