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Belgian royalty arrives in Ha Noi

Update: March, 13/2012 - 09:26


Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan (right) greets the Belgium Crown Prince Philippe in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat
HA NOI — Viet Nam always attaches importance to boosting its friendship and multifaceted co-operation with Belgium, an important partner in the European Union.

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan made this statement while receiving Belgian Crown Prince Philippe, who was on his six-day official visit to Viet Nam at Doan's invitation in Ha Noi yesterday.

She described the visit as an important milestone in the development of the fine relations between the two countries, especially as Viet Nam and Belgium are approaching their 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2013.

Crown Prince Philippe was impressed with Viet Nam's achievements in the national renewal process, which helped improve the country's position in the region and the world.

The two sides expressed pleasure at the active development of their relations in all fields, particularly in politics, diplomacy, economics, co-operative development, education and training.

The two sides agreed to continue exchanging delegations at all levels, while co-operating in international and multilateral forums, especially at the UN and under the framework of ASEM and ASEAN-EU.

They also agreed to continue boosting co-operation between regions and localities of the two countries and creating favourable conditions for their enterprises to seek business and investment opportunities.

They highly appreciated the co-operative projects and plan to continue to co-ordinate projects under the Viet Nam-Belgium Co-operation Programme in 2011-2015, focusing on education and training, water resource management, irrigation and waste treatment.

Vice President Doan thanked the Belgium Government and people for their assistance, especially the increase of development assistance from EUR35 million to EUR60 million for the 2011-2015 period. She asked Belgium to continue considering Viet Nam as a priority in its co-operative development policy with a focus on human resource training and scientific and technological development and applications.

Crown Prince Philippe informed the host that accompanying him are many Belgium businessmen and deans of universities, showing that the Belgian government, regions and community are aiming to boost co-operation with Viet Nam.

After the meeting, Vice President Doan and Crown Prince Philippe witnessed the signing of four co-operative documents between the two countries.

They include the protocol on the amendment to the agreement on avoidance of double taxation, memorandums of understanding between the finance ministries and the science and technology ministries and the Belgian Government's letter on its provision of an additional EUR3 million to the EUR63 million credit meant for the VNREDSat-1B project.

Also yesterday, President Truong Tan Sang received Belgian Crown Prince Philippe, saying he welcomed the prince's coming back after nine years.

Sang asked the two sides to continue exchanging delegations at high levels in order to cement the relationship.

President Sang thanked the Belgian Government for putting Viet Nam high on its list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipients, and for its supports of Viet Nam at international and regional forums.

Sang spoke highly of Belgium's support towards Viet Nam in strengthening its comprehensive relationship with the European Union, particularly in the removal of the anti-dumping tax on Viet Nam's leather-capped shoes imported by the European Union market.

For his part, Prince Philippe affirmed Belgium would support Viet Nam in information technology, transport infrastructure, environmental protection and healthcare.

He also expressed that Viet Nam would be a bridge for Belgian enterprises to other Southeast Asian countries.

Belgian Crown Prince Philippe was also received by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung who affirmed that Viet Nam would consistently consolidate the partnership with Belgium in every field.

He said the two Governments should create favourable conditions for enterprises from both sides to meet and learn investment opportunities.

He affirmed Viet Nam would effectively use Belgium's ODA funding in meeting socio-economic development targets.

The Prime Minister was pleased to see the economics and commerce ties between Viet Nam and Belgium had witnessed a strong progress with the two-way trade turnover of US$1.6 billion last year.

On his part, Crown Prince Philippe expressed his wish to boost co-operation with Viet Nam on the fields of Belgium's strengths, including green technology, renewable energies, and space sciences among others.

The same day, Crown Prince Philippe and the business delegation visited the Ha Noi National University. The delegation brings about 300 businessmen from more than 100 enterprises specialising in the management of water and waste, transport, logistics, space technology and healthcare. — VNS

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