Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc spoke highly of growing ties between Vietnam and the Flanders region of Belgium during a reception in Brussels on October 17 for the regional Minister-President Geert Bourgeois.
He asked the minister and authorities from the region to facilitate bilateral partnership in fields they hold strength and to uphold their role as a bridge for Vietnamese goods to enter Europe and other markets.
Hailing Vietnam as a leading partner in Southeast Asia for Flanders region, Bourgeois affirmed that the visit by PM Phuc will create a new milestone in the development of Vietnam-Belgium and in particular Vietnam-Flanders ties.
He thanked the Vietnamese Government, ministries, and agencies for their hospitality during his visit in May 2018 and stressed that Flanders wants to double bilateral trade and foster ties across research, education-training, and transportation.
Bourgeois said Flanders supports the signing and ratification of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), considering it a great opportunity to develop trade and investment between Vietnam and the EU, as well as between the country and Flanders.
Following the meeting, both sides witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between Flanders and the Vietnamese Government.
At a reception for Minister-President of Belgium’s Wallonia region Willy Borsus on October 16, PM Phuc highlighted that Vietnam attaches great importance to multifaceted cooperation with Belgian regions, including Wallonia.
He lauded Wallonia for choosing Vietnam as a place to open a representative office in 1996, which has so far become a dynamic partner of the region.
The PM welcomed effective joint projects in the fields of healthcare, culture, arts, vocational training, environmental protection, and heritage protection – all towards contributing to socio-economic development in Vietnam, including poverty reduction.
The leader wished that Belgium’s major businesses will continue investing in Vietnam, adding that the country will offer all possible support to them in the process.
Borsus, for his part, said Wallonia considers Vietnam a priority partner in the region. He discussed promising fields of cooperation, such as farm produce processing and foodstuffs.
He noted that regional authorities support the early signing and approval of the EVFTA to boost trade and investment between Vietnam and Belgium, as well as between Vietnam and Wallonia.
The minister hailed Vietnamese nationals in Belgium for their contributions to socio-economic development in the host country.