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AMBASSADORS' COMMENTS

PM Phuc's visit marks new milestone in Vietnam-Belgium relations

Updated at Thursday, 18 Oct 2018, 10:02
The Hanoitimes - Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Paul Jansen highlights the visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Belgium.
Good friends
According to the ambassador, the official visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Belgium is very important because this is the first time Vietnamese Prime Minister visits Belgium since 2015.

 
Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Paul Jansen (left)
Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Paul Jansen (left)
This is a good opportunity for leaders of the two countries to meet and share their ideas on our bilateral relation as well as international issues. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will attend the 12th Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM 12) in Brussels and the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 in Copenhagen. The ambassador is delighted that the prime minister has given time for an official visit to the Kingdom of Belgium to meet and discuss with Belgian leaders.
“During the visit, we hope that the bilateral relations will be strengthened. Vietnam and Belgium are always good friends, Belgian investors are also very focused on the Vietnamese market”, the ambassador emphasized.
At present, the total investment by Belgium in Vietnam has reached US$900 million. Belgium also wants to help Vietnam more in the field of development cooperation. Vietnam is a middle-income country, so the two sides are gradually becoming equal partners, working in a variety of fields such as business and education.
There were about 2,000 Vietnamese student in Belgium. They returned to Vietnam to continue their work and contribute to the Vietnam’s development. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam is one of the successful cases.
The ambassador said that in 2019, when Belgium becomes a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, the country will support Vietnam in running for non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council period 2020-2021. The two countries will have more opportunities to work together in UN activities and boost our bilateral relation to a new height.
Potential market
Belgium hopes to cooperate with Vietnam in agriculture, helping Vietnam promote green agriculture and food safety.
“I think that Vietnam’s agricultural development is on the right track. I also want to see Vietnam’s fruits to enter European market, because we cannot grow the tropical fruits. For example, I never knew dragon fruit until I came to Vietnam and I think that Vietnam should pay attention to this fruit and export them to European market. Belgium is famous for chocolate, so we also want to boost import of cocoa beans from Vietnam”, the ambassador said.
Moreover, non-governmental organizations in Belgium are also working closely with Vietnamese farmers to reduce the use of pesticides and chemicals to drive Vietnam’s greener agriculture. In general, the potential for agricultural cooperation between Vietnam and Belgium is enormous.
Not only Vietnamese market, with Belgium and the EU, ASEAN is also a big market with great potential. That is why the EU is promoting and completing the signing of Free Trade Agreements with ASEAN members, in which Vietnam and Singapore are the first signatories.
Vietnam is the only Asian member to be nominated to the UN Security Council 2020-2021 period and will chair the ASEAN 2020. This fact demonstrates Vietnam’s rising role and capacity in the international arena. Vietnam received high support and trust from countries in the region and in the world. Belgium also hopes to boost bilateral relation with Vietnam and promote relations between the EU and ASEAN.
Phuong Truong
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