Two-way trade between Vietnam and France topped 920 million euro ($1.13 billion) in the first half of this year, a year-on-year increase of 7.3%, according to the Vietnamese Trade Office in France.
Growth in imports amounted to 290 million euro ($358 million), up 26%, while exports were worth 630 million euro ($778 million), up 0.77%.
The office predicted that trade relations between the two countries would continue to develop in the next few months thanks to a sharp increase in France’s foreign trade.
In the first half of 2010, French firms pumped $21.4 million into 20 projects in Vietnam, making France the 16th biggest investor out of 39 countries and territories that have poured money into the country this year.
More than a 100 delegates attended a seminar on the prospects for economic and trade cooperation between Vietnam and France in Paris late last week.
The event was designed to help French businesses gain a better understanding of the Vietnamese market, its policies and business opportunities, organisers said.
Vietnamese ambassador to France Le Kinh Tai emphasized Vietnam’s growth potential and strategic position in Southeast Asia. He also said the two countries had strong political ties that would benefit trade.
Meanwhile, the French Trade Commission director for Vietnam, Jean Louis Poli, said Vietnam was growing rapidly and had great business potential.
He said the time was ripe for French businesses to invest in the Southeast Asian nation.
The president of the Financial Consultancy Co, Jean Michel Caldagues, also urged French enterprises to step up investment in Vietnam.
As Asean’s president, Vietnam is seen as a bridge between France and the Asean markets.