|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính meets President of the Belgian Senate Stephanie D’Hose. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
BRUSSELS — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính met with President of the Belgian Senate Stephanie D’Hose and Princess Astrid of Belgium on late Thursday as part of his official visit to the European country.
Talking to Senate President Stephanie D’Hose, the Government leader of Việt Nam affirmed the determination to further intensify cooperation between the two countries.
He took this occasion to convey National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ’s invitation to his host to visit Việt Nam in 2023 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations.
D’Hose said all Belgian parliamentarians present at the meeting have special and long-lasting sentiment towards Việt Nam, and they hope to develop the countries’ ties more intensively and extensively.
She also described PM Chính’s official visit to Belgium as a success, noting she is interested in the economic aspects discussed during the trip.
The two leaders hailed the encouraging outcomes generated by the EU – Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) after two years of enforcement and agreed to keep strengthening bilateral investment and trade partnerships and jointly coping with common challenges such as environmental pollution and climate change, especially in the Mekong Delta of Việt Nam.
PM Chính asked the Federal Parliament of Belgium to soon complete the ratification process for the EU – Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) so as to create an optimal investment climate for the two business circles. He also called for its support for the European Commission’s early removal of the “yellow card” warning for Việt Nam’s fisheries sector.
Noting he is impressed with the IMEC research and innovation hub in the Flanders region, he suggested the Belgian Senate assist Việt Nam in setting up an innovation centre similar to the IMEC model.
The PM also asked the Senate President to continue providing favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Belgium so that they can serve as a bridge linking the two countries.
|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính is welcomed by Princess Astrid of Belgium. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
At a separate meeting with Princess Astrid, PM Chính appreciated the Belgian Princess and Royal Family’s sentiment towards as well as support for Việt Nam and the two countries’ relations.
Việt Nam always attaches importance to and hopes to enhance comprehensive cooperation with Belgium, he underlined.
Princess Astrid lauded the strides in bilateral ties and highly valued the outcomes of her guest’s visits to three European countries and attendance at the ASEAN – EU Commemorative Summit, as seen in the signing of many documents, particularly those on economy-trade and higher education.
The two sides expressed their delight at the progress of their countries’ cooperation, of which investment and trade partnerships form an important pillar.
PM Chính proposed Princess Astrid encourage Belgian enterprises to further step up trade and investment links with Việt Nam.
He also delivered Vietnamese leaders’ invitation to the King, Queen, and Princess of Belgium to visit the Southeast Asian nation in 2023 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations.
|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính is in talk with President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives Eliane Tillieux in Brussels on December 15. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
Meeting with President of the Chamber of Representatives
On the same day, Prime Minister Chính and President of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium Eliane Tillieux have agreed to promote cooperation and facilitate all-level visits between the two legislatures and offer mutual support at regional and global inter-parliamentary forums.
PM Chính suggested the Belgian Federal Parliament soon approve the EU – Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), support the European Commission’s early removal of “yellow card” warning on Việt Nam’s aquatic products, and assist Việt Nam in development and research, and human resources training.
Tillieux said EVIPA is a top priority and internal discussions are underway to ratify it, adding that many Belgian investors are keen to expand operations in Việt Nam.
Speaking highly of Việt Nam’s efforts to switch to sustainable fishing practices, she agreed with PM Chính’s proposals to deepen the framework of bilateral strategic partnership on agriculture, saying that she is interested in sustainable agriculture cooperation and welcomes collaboration to cope with global supply chain disruption and ensure global food security.
The Belgian leader also expressed readiness to enhance coordination with Việt Nam in implementing initiatives and global commitments to overcoming climate change challenges.
PM Chính mentioned the 13,000-strong Vietnamese community in Belgium and asked the Belgian side to continue giving all possible support for them to integrate into the host society and contribute to Belgium’s socio-economic development and cultural diversity.
The host, in return, said the Vietnamese community has been the most successful in integration and pledged support for them. She also backed cooperation between Belgian regions and Vietnamese localities, as well as people-to-people exchanges and cultural activities to raise mutual understanding between the two peoples.
PM Chính conveyed an invitation to visit Việt Nam from National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ to the President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives.
|PM Phạm Minh Chính meets with President of the Workers’ Party of Belgium Raoul Hedebouw. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
Meeting with President of the Workers’ Party of Belgium
PM Chính also had a meeting with President of the Workers’ Party of Belgium Raoul Hedebouw on Thursday.
The two sides acknowledged with pleasure that cooperation via the Party channel has developed more practically, contributing to promoting the friendship between Việt Nam and Belgium.
They agreed to enhance sharing of information and exchange of delegations between the Communist Party of Việt Nam and the Workers' Party of Belgium, thus strengthening political understanding and trust, and deepening the relations between the two parties.
PM Chính expressed the desire to further strengthen cooperation through Party and people-to-people channels, towards comprehensively promoting the Việt Nam – Belgium relations.
He informed Hedebouw about the main results of his meeting with the Speaker of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium, and highly valued the growing role of the Workers' Party in the chamber.
The Vietnamese PM suggested the Belgian party support the promotion of cooperation between the two countries, especially at the Chamber of Representatives, the Senate, the regional councils and the European Parliament.
For his part, Hedebouw affirmed support for the Vietnamese people and the country’s national construction and development, and pledged to continue supporting the deepening of the bilateral relations. — VNS