|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (l) meets with King Philippe of Belgium in Brussels yesterday.— VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
BRUSSELS — Việt Nam attaches importance to ties with Belgium, a founding member with an important role in the European Union, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told King Philippe of Belgium during their meeting in Brussels yesterday.
PM Phúc, who has been in an official visit to Belgium, informed the King about the outcomes of his talks with Prime Minister Charles Michel and his discussions with leaders of the parliament, regions, and communities of Belgium.
He affirmed that Việt Nam always welcomed and created favourable conditions for Belgian enterprises to do business in the Southeast Asian country. King Philippe welcomed the PM’s visit which coincides with the 45th founding anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
He recalled his first visit to Việt Nam in 1994 and led delegations of Belgian enterprises to the country to form linkages and launch projects to improve the lives of local residents in the Mekong Delta.
The King asserted that he always treasured relations with Việt Nam and expressed his interest in Việt Nam’s efforts to cope with climate change, saying that Belgium is ready to transfer technologies to Việt Nam to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Host and guest shared the view that bilateral ties are growing positively in diverse areas, especially in economy, trade, and investment with nearly 70 successful projects in Việt Nam.
They stressed the need to step up bilateral collaboration in fields of Belgium’s strength and Việt Nam’s demand such as high-tech agriculture, green technology, renewable energy, healthcare, and education-training.
Meeting with Chamber President
During a meeting with Prime Minister Phúc on Wednesday, President of Chamber of Representatives Siegfried Bracke said Belgium’s Lower House of Parliament planned to expand co-operation with Việt Nam at all levels.
The Vietnamese PM thanked the Belgian Chamber of Representatives for its support in deepening the two countries’ relations, saying the partnership between the two parliaments had played a vital role in enhancing bilateral ties.
Bracke also voiced his support for the early signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), saying it would benefit all parties as it created an engine to bolster co-operation between Việt Nam and EU countries in economics and trade.
Belgium is now Việt Nam’s seventh largest trade partner in the EU, with two-way trade reaching US$2.7 billion last year. As of August 2018, Belgium’s investment in the country was valued at $900 million.
PM Phúc also had a meeting yesterday with Steven Vanackere, Belgium’s former Foreign Minister and head of a group of parliamentarians from the Flemish Christian Democratic Party, who has made great contributions to the growth of the relationship between the two countries.
During a meeting with Chairman of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee Bernd Lange on Wednesday, PM Phúc applauded the role and contributions of Lange to enhancing the partnership between Việt Nam and the EU in general and between the Vietnamese National Assembly and the EP in particular.
Lange expressed his delight at the EC’s decision to send the EVFTA to the European Council for signing, saying this is an important step so the EP can begin the ratification process.
He affirmed his support for all-round cooperation between Việt Nam and the EU.
The same day, Phúc met EP President Antonio Tajani. He praised the fruitful relations between the Vietnamese legislature and the EP, saying Vietnam considers it an important pillar of the Việt Nam-EU comprehensive cooperation.
For his part, Tajani stressed the EP would make efforts to ratify the bilateral trade and investment documents in early 2019, which, he said, would support both sides and benefit trade in Europe and Asia.
The EP would continue with its support for the implementation of cooperation programmes between the EU and Việt Nam, as well as Việt Nam’s sustainable development, he said. — VNS