|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is received at Stuttgart Airport in Baden Wuerttemberg State on his official visit to Germany. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung arrived in Stuttgart city, Baden Wuerttemberg yesterday, beginning his official visit to Germany at the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
He was welcomed by Minister-President of Baden Wuerttemberg Winfried Kretschmann, who advocated boosting ties between Baden Wuerttemberg and Vietnamese localities, particularly in education-training and manufacturing.
Kretschmann also appreciated the organisation of the Viet Nam-Baden Wuerttemberg Economic Dialogue, which aims to accelerate economic, trade and investment links.
Dung said that the strategic partnership between Viet Nam and Germany had progressed in many areas, as reflected by Germany's status as the leading European partner of Viet Nam.
|Minister-President of Baden Wuerttemberg Winfried Kretschmann receives Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (middle). — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
He declared that the Vietnamese Government would provide every possible condition for businesspeople from Baden Wuerttemberg to undertake long-term and productive operations in Viet Nam, especially those manufacturing equipment or engaged in pharmaceutical chemistry, green energy and vocational training. He also proposed both sides step up collaboration in vocational training, labour affairs, education and training and science and technology.
Before landing in Stuttgart, Dung met with President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz in Brussels, Belgium. He emphasised the European Parliament's role in fostering Viet Nam-European Union relations and asked for its strong support for the early signing and ratification of an EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (FVFTA).
The President pledged to work for the ratification of the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement and the signing of the EVFTA in 2015. He appreciated Viet Nam's role in dealing peacefully with disputes in the East Sea in line with international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.
In a meeting with Chairwoman of the Belgian Senate Sabine De Bethune and Vice President of the Chamber of Representatives Françoise Schepmans, Dung stated he highly valued the progress made in bilateral relations which the Belgian federal parliament had contributed greatly to.
Both sides agreed to step up co-operation on all fronts, particularly on development co-operation, trade and investment.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) meets with President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz in Brussels, Belgium. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
Considering the Vietnamese leader's visit a milestone in bilateral relations, the two Belgian officials said the Belgian Senate and Chamber of Representatives would actively support the expansion of their affiliation.
At the meeting, both sides spoke highly of the countries' close co-operation at multilateral forums. They agreed to work closely to boost Viet Nam-European Union ties, ratify the Viet Nam-EU Partnership and Co-operation Agreement, recognise Viet Nam's full market economy, and conclude negotiations for the Viet Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement.
On behalf of National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, Dung invited the Belgian officials to the 132nd General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132), which is scheduled for next year in Ha Noi.
In a meeting with Mayor of Brussels Yvan Mayeur, the Vietnamese leader said the capital city played an active role in the intensification of Viet Nam's ties with Belgium and the EU.
A number of activities had been implemented throughout the city to promote Viet Nam's image in Belgium and EU countries, he added.
Mayeur said Brussels was keen to enhance relations with Viet Nam.
The Vietnamese leader also met with Minister President of the French Community in Belgium Rudy Demotte, and praised the co-operation programme for 2013-2015 and the community's objective to collaborate closely with Viet Nam.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets with Minister President of the French Community in Belgium Rudy Demotte. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
They both spoke highly of increasing ties between Viet Nam and the French community, as demonstrated by the mutual assistance provided as part of the framework of the International Organisation of La Francophonie.
Demotte said the community attached great importance to its relations with Viet Nam and hoped for more co-operation projects, adding that the community would continue to support Vietnamese-Belgian ties.
In a separate meeting with Jean-Charles Luperto, President of the Parliament of the French Community of Belgium, Dung thanked the parliament for its contributions to the Vietnamese-Belgian relationship and asked for further support to enhance ties between the two countries.
Luperto highlighted the progress made in the relations between Viet Nam and the French community, suggesting both sides expand their co-operation on tertiary education and vocational training, culture and the teaching of French.
Addressing representatives from more than 150 Belgian and Vietnamese firms in Brussels earlier, the Prime Minister said Viet Nam prioritised refining market economy regulations, ensuring fair competition and reforming administrative procedures.
Viet Nam had become a middle-income country with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of over US$2,000. The economy was expected to grow by 6.5-7 per cent from 2016-20, with a 6.2-6.4 per cent growth rate forecast for 2015, he told the forum.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets with representatives from more than 150 Belgian and Vietnamese firms in Brussels. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
The country boasts more than 17,000 foreign-invested projects worth almost VND250 billion ($11.9 billion), and has achieved the majority of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.
Additionally, the Viet Nam–European Union free trade agreement is scheduled to be completed during the first quarter of next year, formalising bilateral trade between the two parties.
Regarding pharmaceuticals, airport and seaport infrastructure, and hospital construction, the government leader made it clear that Viet Nam would open its market to interested parties and implement management practices in line with international standards, adding that the country was encouraging investment in infrastructure, especially in the form of public-private partnerships.
Due to its shortage of hospitals, Viet Nam was also pushing for the involvement of the private sector in order to meet public demand, he said.
Marc Stordiau, Chief Executive Officer of Rent-a-Port, a company that recently received an investment licence from the PM, said Viet Nam's business-friendly climate and abundant young workforce were why his company wanted to make inroads into the Vietnamese market. — VNS