Francophone Business Forum Opens in Ho Chi Minh City

9:54:57 AM | 3/24/2022

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) held a Francophone business forum in Ho Chi Minh City on March 22 .

The forum is among a series of events held within the framework of a visit by the Economic and Commercial Mission of La Francophonie (MECA) from March 21 – 30. (Photo: VNA)

The forum is among a series of events held within the framework of a visit by the Economic and Commercial Mission of La Francophonie (MECA) from March 21 – 30.

Duong Anh Duc, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, stressed that there are substantial business and investment opportunities in the southern economic hub, and the city can serve as a launchpad for businesses of the OIF to join regional and global supply chains.

He pointed out that OIF enterprises can exploit opportunities brought about by free trade agreements that Vietnam is a member, such as the EU-Vietnam FTA, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of the VCCI, said Vietnam and other OIF member countries have complementary conditions to develop together.

Vietnam possesses necessary conditions to help enhance the connectivity within the organisation and form a closed-loop supply-consumption chain, spreading from Africa to Europe and North America. Meanwhile, the Francophone economic space offers a big market for the Southeast Asian nation.

Vietnam has set up trade ties with 44 out of 54 OIF member countries. Sixteen OIF countries are running investment projects in Vietnam. A number of state-run groups and private firms of Vietnam have also invested in Africa, mainly in oil and gas, telecommunications, hydroelectricity and wood processing.

OIF General Secretary Louise Mushikiwabo emphasised that the presence of representatives from 25 OIF member countries at the forum has reflected their expectations for cooperation opportunities in Vietnam.

Lauding Vietnam’s dynamism, she said the country offers many opportunities for foreign businesses and investors, which has been highly valued by OIF businesses.

The visit to Vietnam by the Francophone delegation is part of the efforts to implement the Francophone Economic Development Strategy from 2020 – 2025.

Founded in 1970, the OIF now has 88 member states and observers. Together they account for 16 percent of the global population and 16.5 percent of the world’s total assets.

Since becoming an OIF member in 1979, Vietnam has consistently strengthened partnership with the Francophone community and been an active and core member of the organisation in Asia-Pacific. It hosted the Francophone Summit in 1997.

Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Thi Hoang Mai was appointed as head of the Francophone representative office in West Africa last year. She is the first Asian to head a regional OIF office overseas .