National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ holds talks with President of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium Éliane Tillieux in Brussels. —VNA/VNS Photo
BRUSSELS — National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ held talks with President of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium Éliane Tillieux in Brussels on Thursday.
NA Chairman Huệ said that his visit, the first paid by a high-ranking leader of Việt Nam to Europe after the country perfected the leadership structure for the new tenure, aimed to affirm the country’s hope to work with Belgium and the EU to lift the Việt Nam-EU comprehensive partnership and all-round ties between Vietnam and Belgium to a new height.
He underlined that Việt Nam highly valued its relationship with Belgium in all fields, including cooperation through the Party channel and people-to-people exchange.
Việt Nam is willing to help connect the EU and Belgium with ASEAN, he stated, adding that Việt Nam hopes to increase exchanges of high-ranking delegations with Belgium after COVID-19 is controlled.
He also took the occasion to invite the Belgian President of Chamber Representatives and President of the Senate to visit Việt Nam at a suitable time.
He thanked Belgium for supporting the ratification of the Việt Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), noting that one year after the deal took effect, trade between Việt Nam and the EU has an impressive 18 per cent.
The Vietnamese NA has adopted the revised Labour Code and a road map to join basic conventions of the International Labour Organisation, he said, proposing Belgium ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement soon.
He suggested that Belgium support the EU removing of a yellow card on the Việt Nam fisheries sector, while cooperating with Việt Nam in climate change response.
The Vietnamese NA leader expressed his hope that Vietnamese and Belgium legislative bodies will set up a cooperation framework to share experience in parliamentary activities as well as foster bilateral and multilateral collaboration.
He thanked Belgium for donating 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Việt Nam, expressing hope that Belgium will continue to support Việt Nam in accessing more vaccine sources through the COVAX mechanism.
Éliane Tillieux said that Belgium was willing to assist and cooperate with other countries, including Việt Nam, in COVID-19 control.
She agreed with Huệ on the need to foster cooperation between the two legislative bodies, friendship parliamentary groups, sectors as well as people-to-people exchange. The International Francophone Organisation, of which Việt Nam and Belgium are members, is also a good channel for both sides to bolster bilateral partnership, she said.
She said that the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium will consider the EVIPA going forward, suggesting that partnership between the friendship parliamentary groups of both sides was also an effective channel to help the ratification process.
Vaccine production cooperation
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên said Belgium’s biotechnology company Univercells can access and provide vaccines for Southeast Asia and Asia at large through cooperation in Việt Nam.
He made the remarks during a recent meeting with representatives of Belgium’s biotechnology company, trade partners and the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency, on cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine and medicine production.
The meeting, part of National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ’s visit to Belgium and the European Union, was among efforts by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in seeking vaccine supply and carrying out vaccine diplomacy.
A representative of Univercells said the company was paying heed to investment in vaccine production facilities in Việt Nam, along with production of personal medical equipment; experience sharing and training for vaccine manufacturers and connection with various partners to find suitable financial sources for cooperation projects.
Diên suggested development in line with the country’s infrastructure in the field, urging the Belgian firm to promptly send suggestions and materials to the Vietnamese side for consideration.
During his trip, Diên also received Secretary General of the Federation of European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) Jerome Pero and representatives from Nike Group.
He said he hoped that FESI and Nike would raise a voice to the EU and US administration to make it easier for Việt Nam to access vaccines at the earliest opportunity via the COVAX mechanism or commercial channels.
FESI and Nike also discussed the possibility of assisting Việt Nam in the COVID-19 fight such as through supplying test kits or factory cleansing equipment. — VNS