MONCTON (GNB) – The provincial government has renewed its co-operation agreement with the Département de la Vienne, France, for five years.

“New Brunswick and the Département de la Vienne are celebrating more than 35 years of friendship and partnership this year,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Robert Gauvin, who is also the minister responsible for La Francophonie. “The renewal of this agreement reinforces the historical ties that unite us while promoting discussions and co-operation.”

The main areas of co-operation are education and training, tourism, culture and the economy.

Under the agreement, the Université de Moncton, the University of New Brunswick and the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick participate in student exchange and internship programs. In the past five years, 96 New Brunswick students went to Vienne and 105 students from Vienne participated in short-term stays in New Brunswick.

The agreement will also promote Acadie as a tourism destination and create heritage-themed tourism initiatives.

“By entering into bilateral partnerships with other governments, we help diversify our markets, showcase our expertise in various sectors, attract francophone immigrants and recruit international students,” said Gauvin.

The renewal of the agreement took place during the World Acadian Congress, which runs Aug. 10-24 on Prince Edward Island and in southeastern New Brunswick.