FORMER BELGIAN FM ASKED TO HELP EXPEDITE EVFTA SIGNING

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets with Belgium’s former Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere (L).

At a meeting on October 18 with Steven Vanackere who is also head of a group of parliamentarians from the Flemish Christian Democratic Party and a great contributor to the growth of the Vietnam-Belgium relationship, PM Phuc said the two countries have agreed upon a score of measures to step up future cooperation, including the acceleration of the signing of EVFTA, noting that the Belgian former minister has a wealth of experience in the field.

For his part, Vanackere assured his willingness to assist Vietnam in achieving the best results in this regard, adding that as a country with certain influences in the EU, Belgium has a strong voice in the signing of the trade deal.

Vietnam and Belgium hold huge potential for elevating their partnership to new heights, he said whilst highlighting Belgian enterprises’ strengths in seaports and logistics- the areas Belgium can expand its cooperation with Vietnam.

At the same time, Vietnam has well progressed in sustainable growth, while Belgium has many big businesses in science and technology, and as such the two sides should supplement each other in this field,  the former Belgian official said.

Vietnam has made great strides in sustainable development and Belgium has many leading businesses in science and technology, this giving the chance to both sides to support each other in this realm. On higher education cooperation, Belgium wants to receive more Vietnamese students, he said.

Vanackere stated that the European Council (EC)’s adoption of the free trade agreement with Vietnam indicates the union’s goodwill and aspiration to promote the deal and suggested both sides should maintain a regular exchange of information. Vietnam should provide further information on its achievements and efforts in socio-economic development, with its open and reforming government, he said.

The Vietnamese government leader agreed with Vanackere on great potential for substantial cooperation between the two countries, particularly in Vietnam’s strengths of processing industry and agriculture, and reiterated Vietnam’s readiness to import key products from Belgium.

Phuc also extolled cultural and education cooperation as Vietnam currently has 250 postgraduates studying in Belgium and the figure is expected to go up in the future, helping to improve the human resource quality of Vietnam.

He told the Belgian former FM that during his visit, the two countries’ businesses have signed many investment cooperation documents, while heads of major regions and enterprises of Belgium also showed their wish to augment mutually beneficial cooperation with Vietnam.

The EC’s approval of the EVFTA is good news and will benefit both sides, Phuc said, while affirming Vietnam’s stance on its active international integration and constant efforts in this aspect.

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