The Prime Ministers of Vietnam and Belgium announced at a joint press conference in Brussels on October 16 that they had agreed to promote cooperation between the two countries in multiple fields.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel co-chaired the press conference following their talks.

The Vietnamese PM said he and PM Charles Michel had agreed to bolster ties in agriculture, eduction-training, culture, transport and facilitation of business and investment, especially when the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement will be signed soon.

He told the press that many Belgian-invested projects in Vietnam have been successful, adding that Vietnam is making constant efforts to improve its investment environment.

He added that Belgian had agreed to push for the signing of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement, thus facilitating trade and investment between the two countries.

Phuc announced that he had invited the Belgian PM to visit Vietnam and his invitation had been accepted.

PM Charles Michel said besides many important issues to bolster the two countries’ economic partnership, especially in trade and investment, the two sides also considered collaboration in education-training and examined the framework to promote Vietnam-EU free trade agreements.

The Belgian PM said Belgium supports Vietnam’s candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021. The two countries will work together for peace and security in the East Sea, and raise voice to protest unilateral actions that violate peace and international law.

He also said Belgian wants to work with Vietnam in agriculture, helping the Southeast Asian country develop clean agriculture and procedures to ensure food safety.

The two PMs said they had agreed on the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.

Disputes should be addressed by peaceful measures, in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), they said.

Following their talks, the leaders witnessed the signing of some cooperation documents between agencies and businesses of the two countries, covering agriculture, food safety, seaport and other spheres.

They include a strategic partnership agreement on agriculture between the two Governments, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on improving food safety and hygiene between the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, and another MoU on establishing a bilateral political consultation mechanism between the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

A MoU on cooperation in research of smart port in the northern port city of Hai Phong between Vietnam’s Hateco and Rent-A-Port Group of Belgium and another MoU on cooperation in research of seaport investment and development between Vinalines and Rent-A-Port were also inked on this occasion.


Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Belgian counterpart, Charles Michel, highlighted the strides in the two countries’ relations in numerous spheres during their talks in Brussels on the afternoon of October 16 (local time).phuc_KIPU

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Belgian counterpart, Charles Michel, shake hands before their talks in Brussels on October 16

PM Phuc, who is on an official visit to Belgium, said Vietnam will always treasure its friendship and multifaceted cooperation with the European nation. He thanked PM Michel and the Belgian Government for supporting bilateral ties over the years.

Michel noted that the trip – which takes place on the threshold of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit and amidst the 45th founding anniversary of the countries’ diplomatic ties – will create a new driving force for bilateral connections to grow strongly.

The two PMs said that Vietnam-Belgium relations have enjoyed progress in multiple areas and at many levels, from local to central levels, creating diverse cooperation links that have helped to capitalise on the strength of both sides.

They agreed to increase mutual visits and meetings at all levels. PM Phuc also took this occasion to invite his counterpart to visit Vietnam, and Michel accepted the invitation with pleasure.

At the talks, the leaders agreed to enhance economic partnerships and maintain cooperation mechanisms, such as the Vietnam-Belgium Joint Committee. The two sides will also improve the effectiveness of cooperation projects as well as coordination among mechanisms.

PM Michel said that bilateral trade and investment have continued to expand well, noting that last year’s trade revenue of US$2.7 billion will be a catalyst for Belgium’s trade and investment in Vietnam.

He affirmed his support for the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which will provide practical benefits for the EU and form a bridge linking Europe with Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific.

The PMs emphasised the need to work together to create conditions for connecting Vietnamese and Belgian partners, especially in fields Belgium holds strength and Vietnam has demand for, namely transportation, seaports, logistics services, green technology, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and renewable energy.

The establishment of a strategic partnership in agriculture and cooperation in food safety and hygiene between the two countries will provide optimal conditions for high-quality Vietnamese agricultural and fishery products to enter Belgium and vice versa. They will also help the agricultural sectors of both sides to expand production and apply high technology to meet sustainability requirements, the leaders said.

They added that Vietnam and Belgium should build on what they have achieved so far in development cooperation and collaboration in education-training, science-technology, justice, and culture.

PM Phuc also called on the Belgian Government to continue favourable conditions for Vietnamese people in the country.

At the event, the two leaders stressed that their countries need to enhance cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums and international organisations, especially the United Nations.

PM Phuc welcomed the EU and Belgium’s viewpoint on and active role in the East Sea issue. The two sides underscored the importance of peace, stability, and security in the East Sea; the settlement of disputes by peaceful means; and respect for international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.


VOV.VN -Vietnam will serve as a bridge for European enterprises to gain access to the ASEAN market toward a free and fair trade, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the Vietnam EU-Belgium Business Forum on October 17 as part of his official visit to Belgium.


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc gives a speech at the Vietnam EU-Belgium Business Forum.

The event, jointly held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Belgian Vietnamese Alliance, embassies and trade offices of Vietnam and Belgium, brought together Chairman of the Belgium – Vietnam Friendship Alliance Andries Gryffoy, leaders from several Vietnamese ministries and sectors along with nearly 200 business representatives from both nations.

In his remarks, Andries Gryffoy said the involvement of roughly 200 Belgian, Vietnamese and EU businesses in the forum showed their intense interest in seeking opportunities for business cooperation. The participating businesses- are seen as potential investors for Vietnamese enterprises- operate in a wide range of areas such as health, real estate, green energy, food, beverages, and seaport infrastructure.

Belgium has a business-friendly government, dynamic research environment, international standard education system and high labour productivity, he said, adding that lying in the heart of the EU with a population of 420 million and modern infrastructure, Belgium focuses on industries such as aerospace, chemicals, energy, waste and wastewater treatment, artificial intelligence and 4.0 technology, which boast huge potential for stronger partnership with Vietnamese businesses.

In an interview given to a Radio Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reporter at the forum, Luc Van Looveren from the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce and Industry said many Belgian businesses are highly interested in the Vietnamese market, noting that the Vietnamese Prime Minister delivering a speech at the event is a great honour, demonstrating Vietnam’s importance in successful economic cooperation with the European Union (EU).


Speaking at the forum, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc praised the Belgium-Vietnam Friendship Alliance in collaboration with the VCCI for organizing the significant forum as a way of augmenting cooperation between the two nations’ enterprises.

Belgium is a high-tech economy with diversified and high value-added services, Phuc said while highlighting the European nation as a vast market, opening up a wealth of opportunity for enterprises to do business.

Vietnam-Belgium trade turnover and Belgian investment in Vietnam have been steadily on the uptick over recent years with two-way trade increasing tenfold in nearly a decade, and it is likely to reach US$53 billion this year, he noted.

Emphasizing the Europe-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) which is expected to open its door for the enterprises to fully tap cooperation potential when it comes into force, PM Phuc said he hopes that the European business association, especially Belgian firms, will raise their Along with the imminent signing of the EVFTA, Vietnam has engaged in 15 new-generation FTAs, which means that if Belgian businesses enter Vietnam, they will gain entry into a global market.

The Vietnamese cabinet leader also affirmed the Vietnamese Government’s sustained effort to improve the business climate for both domestic and foreign enterprises and offer favourable conditions for enterprises to enhance their connectivity towards successful cooperation for the benefits of both businesses and people.

At the forum, PM Phuc also witnessed the signing of two cooperation documents on logistics and information and technology between Vietnamese and Belgian enterprises.


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s upcoming official visit to Belgium takes place in the context of constant development of the relationship between Vietnam and the country in various realms and at different levels.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (March 22, 1973).

Belgium is Vietnam’s seventh biggest importer in the European Union (EU), after Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Italy, France, Spain and Austria. Though being only a small country, Belgium has served as an important gateway for Vietnam’s commodities to access other Western European nations.

In 2017, Belgium had 62 investment projects with total capital of US$595 million in Vietnam. Most projects are of small scale.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has invested in two projects in Brussels, including a US$152,000 trade promotion centre in Brussels and the Europe trade and investment joint stock company worth US$90,000.

Since the two countries signed the Framework Agreement on Economic, Industrial and Technical Cooperation in 1977, Belgium has offered nearly US$300 million in loans and non-refundable aid to Vietnam, with about 60 percent non-refundable aid.

Their cooperation programmes have mainly targeted water resource management, waste treatment, State management, institutional enhancement and administrative reform, education, agriculture and rural development, and health care.

Belgium ended its non-refundable aid to Vietnam in July 2018.

The Vietnam-Belgium Joint Committee on Scientific and Technical Cooperation meets every three years to review and set directions for cooperation programmes and projects between the two countries.

The two sides are teaming up in 18 research projects with a total funding of US$8 million in the form of cooperation between universities and research institutes, expert exchange and implementation of joint research programmes.

Each year, Belgium provides about 2 million EUR for Vietnam’s education-training sector through cooperation programmes between universities and research institutes. Nearly 300 Vietnamese students are studying and doing research in the country.

Besides, many joint projects on languages, scientific research capacity improvement and personnel training have also been launched at local level.

PM Phuc’s Belgium visit is made at the invitation of his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel. It is part of his trip to Europe from October 14-21 to attend the 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM 12) and the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 Summit (P4G) and pay officials visits to Austria, Belgium, Demark and a working visit to the European Union (EU).


The visits to Austria, Belgium, Demark and the European Union (EU) by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc aim to convey a message of Vietnam’s desire to make friends with all countries, and boost extensive international integration, and effective participation along with the international community in resolving global challenges.


PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his wife jet off to Vienna, Austria- the first European nation during their trip to Europe.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, his wife and high-ranking delegation departed Hanoi on October 14 morning for Vienna, Austria, to attend the 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM 12) and the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 Summit (P4G) and pay officials visits to Austria, Belgium, Demark and a working visit to the European Union (EU).The visits came at the invitations of President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, and Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The cabinet leader is accompanied by Minister of Trade and Industry Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, Deputy Minister of Public Security Bui Van Nam, Vietnamese Ambassador to Austria Le Dung, and others.

The 12th Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM 12), set to take place in Belgium, will focus on a score of measures to promote ASEM’s role in promoting multilateral cooperation and Asia- Europe connectivity, upholding international law, and maintaining peace, security, stability, cooperation and development of the world and the two continents.

The Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 Summit (P4G) themed “Solutions for Sustainable Development”, scheduled to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, is expected to outline a vision, orientations, and specific measures and actions to promote green growth and sustainable development on a global scale.

Vietnam’s attendance at these meetings at the invitation of the EU shows their high regard for  the southeast Asian nation’s role in dealing with current international issues.

The trip to Europe by Prime Minister Phuc takes place amid the continued positive development of the Vietnam –EU relations, as evidenced by regular meetings and delegation exchanges.

The EU is the largest non-refundable aid provider for Vietnam, the third largest trading partner behind China and the US, the second largest export market after the US, and the leading foreign investor in Vietnam.

Therefore, the visits are of particular significance, showing international friends’ recognition of high importance to Vietnam’s role in resolving global challenges.

Vietnam and EU officially set up diplomatic ties on November 28, 1990. In 1996, the European Commission (EC) established its representative delegation in Hanoi.

Both sides have maintained cooperation mechanisms, including the annual Political Consultation at Vice-Ministerial Level, the Vietnam-EU Joint Committee, and the Vietnam-EU human rights dialogue.

In the first half of 2018, bilateral trade reached US$27 billion, up 12.35 % over 2017. The two sides have been actively speeding up the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA).

Vietnam and the EU have also worked closely at multilateral forums and international organisations,  particularly within the framework of the ASEAN-EU cooperation mechanism, the ASEM and the UN.

During the trip, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his delegation are due to visit Austria, Belgium and Denmark which are important partners of Vietnam in economic, trade and cultural cooperation. Vietnam established diplomatic relations with Austria in 1972, with Belgium in 1973, and with Denmark in 1971.

Vietnam and Austria have maintained high-level meetings and delegation exchanges, close cooperation, and mutual support at multilateral forums. Belgium is currently Vietnam’s seventh largest export market in the EU, investing nearly US$600 million in the country.

For Denmark, 2018 marks the fifth anniversary of Vietnam – Denmark comprehensive partnership. The two sides have closely and effectively coordinate at multilateral forums, especially the United Nations, ASEM and ASEAN-EU.

PM Phuc’s attendance at ASEM 12, P4G and his visits to Austria, Belgium, Denmark and the EU are designed to affirm Vietnam’s external policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development, diversification and multilateralization of international relations, and active international integration.

The visits also extend a message of Vietnam’s extensive integration into the international community, enhancement of multilateral diplomacy, contributions to building and shaping multilateral institutions and effective participation in addressing global challenges at multilateral organizations.