Vietnam inks $6.5bn deal with Airbus during Hollande’s visit

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Hanoi, Sep 6 (IANS) Vietnamese air carriers on Tuesday signed deals with French aircraft manufacturer Airbus for 40 planes worth $6.5 billion.

Low-cost airline JetStar Pacific, a subsidiary of Vietnam Airlines, signed a $1 billion deal for 10 Airbus A320 jets, while VietJet placed orders for 20 aircraft for $2.39 billion. Vietnam Airlines also signed a letter of intent to buy 10 Airbus A350 planes for $3 billion, EFE news reported.

Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier said at the signing ceremony that by 2020 the manufacturer would double the number of job opportunities for local skilled workers, making Vietnam the firm’s most important Southeast Asian partner.

The deals were announced on the first day of French President Francois Hollande’s two-day visit to the country, where he will hold talks on Tuesday with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

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Hollande is also scheduled to give a speech at the Vietnam National University and attend a state banquet in the capital before he departs later at night for Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam.

He is set to meet Dinh La Thang, secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, on Wednesday.

France is Vietnam’s fifth-largest trade partner in Europe, with two-way trade reaching $4.2 billion in 2015, and is also the third largest European investor in the Southeast Asian country.



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