French President Francois Hollande arrives in Hanoi

By VnExpress   September 6, 2016 | 09:53 am GMT+7

This is the first visit to Vietnam by a French president in 12 years.

Francois Hollande touched down in Hanoi this morning, September 06, starting his two-day visit to Vietnam, from September 5-7, with the official reception by Vietnamese State President Tran Dai Quang.

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Vietnamese children wave Vietnamese and French flags as a limousine carrying French President Francois Hollande arrives for a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam September 6, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Kham

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France's President Francois Hollande (L) and his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang review an honor guard at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, September 6, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Minh Hoang/Pool

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France's President Francois Hollande (R) reviews the guard of honor with his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam September 6, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Kham

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France's President Francois Hollande (L) and his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang shake hands at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, September 6, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Luong Thai Linh/Pool

Apart from official meetings with Vietnamese leaders, Hollande is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Vietnam National University in Hanoi and visit Ho Chi Minh City, where he will meet with the city’s leaders and the business community. He is also expected to visit the Heart Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, one of the beacons of cooperation between the two nations.

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France's President Francois Hollande (C) walks out of the airplane upon his arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam September 6, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Kham

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France's President Francois Hollande (C) sits in a limousine upon his arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam September 6, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Kham

The two sides are expected to sign more than 20 cooperation agreements during the visit. One of the deals will be a service contract between Airparif, an organization responsible for monitoring the air quality in the Ile de France, and Hanoi's municipal government. The purpose of the contract is to help improve air quality in Hanoi by setting up a monitoring system.

With 461 projects worth over $3.4 billion, France is now the third largest European investor in Vietnam, after the Netherlands and the U.K., and ranks 16th among 114 countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian nation.

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