Vietnam and Belgium are facing huge opportunities and prospects to strengthen cooperation.
|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Belgian counterpart Alexander De Croo. Photo: Nhat Bac|
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Belgian counterpart Alexander De Croo shared the view during a phone talk held on August 25, in which the two also discussed the preparation for the upcoming visits between leaders of the two countries.
The two prime ministers also agreed to boost cooperation in culture, education, workforce training, agriculture, science, and climate change. In this regard, bolstering bilateral trade and investment activities would contribute to a sustainable recovery in the post-pandemic period and take the bilateral relations to a new height.
Prime Minister Chinh noted Belgium is one of Vietnam’s major trading partners in Europe with two-way trade turnover in the first seven months reaching US$1.9 billion, a surge of 40% year on year.
Chinh stressed the necessity for the two countries to continue taking advantage of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), while Belgium’s soon approval of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) would serve as the driving force to enhance Vietnam-EU relations in general and Vietnam-Belgium in particular.
“Vietnam is committed to supporting foreign businesses, including those from Belgium, to do long-term business in the country,” Chinh said, referring to fields that Belgian companies having strong expertise such as maritime transport, logistics, renewables, hi-tech farming, and pharmacy.
Chinh also called on Belgium to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese farm produce, especially rice, coffee, cacao, and seasonal fruits, to penetrate EU and Belgian markets, expecting the European Commission to soon lift the yellow card on Vietnam’s seafood to ensure benefits of Vietnamese enterprises and European customers.
As Vietnam is facing its most serious Covid-19 outbreak yet, Chinh suggested the Belgian Government support Vietnam in gaining access to vaccines or technologies for vaccine production.
For his part, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo shared Vietnam’s concern over the shortage of vaccine supplies and said it would try its best to support Vietnam in this regard.
The two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation and support each other in multilateral forums and international organizations, including the UN, ASEAN-EU, or ASEM.
Both stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, and freedom of navigation on the East Sea, as well as the peaceful solution of territorial disputes on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), along with the effective and full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the finalization of the code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).