VOKA – KAMER VAN KOOPHANDEL ANTWERPEN-WAASLAND
August 30, 2019
The seminar took place ahead of a Vietnam visit in November by a delegation of Antwerp’s startups and firms operating in such spheres as diamond business, fashion, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and construction in November.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Vu Anh Quang said Vietnam is an open market economy with total trade value reaching 482 billion USD and combined foreign direct investment hitting 35 billion USD in 2018. The country welcomed about 16 million foreign tourists in the year.
He described the upcoming visit by Antwerp’s enterprises as an important highlight within the new framework of the bilateral ties that is the Vietnam-Belgium strategic partnership in agriculture and the EU-Vietnam free trade and investment agreements.
The ambassador suggested the two sides enhance cooperation in trade and investment as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was signed, further explaining that the deal is expected to open up great opportunities for trade and investment ties between Vietnam and the EU once it is ratified by the European Parliament.
Speaking highly of cooperation between Vietnam and Belgium, and Antwerp in particular, Quang said the Port of Antwerp – the second largest port in the EU – is an important gateway for Vietnamese goods to access Belgium and the EU as well.
With a coastline of about 3,260km, Vietnam wishes to step up cooperation in seaport logistics and infrastructure, he said.
Antwerp’s Governor Cathy Berx, who will lead the Belgian delegation to Vietnam in November, told the Vietnam News Agency that the Southeast Asian nation has a lot of business opportunities.
She lauded the country’s business environment, saying it is time to come to Vietnam to explore all opportunities in the country.
Businesses should focus on cooperation in sustainable development, especially renewable energy, she said, suggesting Antwerp’s companies to find suitable cooperation and operation methods to persuade Vietnamese firms to partner with them.
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