Belgian lower house backs expanded ties with Việt Nam

Update: October, 18/2018 - 10:00
PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc meets President of the Chamber of Representatives Siegfried Bracke (left) on Wednesday during his visit to Belgium. – VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
Viet Nam News

BRUSSELS — Belgium’s Lower House of Parliament planned to expand co-operation with Việt Nam at all levels, said President of the Chamber of Representatives Siegfried Bracke during a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in Brussels on Wednesday.

At the meeting, both Phúc and Bracke expressed their delight at the development of the Việt Nam – Belgium relations over the last 45 years.

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 hailed Phúc’s visit as significant to fostering relations and lauded the Vietnamese community in Belgium and their contributions to their ties. He welcomed strengthened collaboration between the two nations in agriculture.

Both sides agreed Việt Nam and Belgium should work to fulfill their co-operation potential, especially in education, science-technology, maritime transport and clean energy.

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.

The two sides also agreed that all concerned nations must work to maintain peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea and settle disputes via peaceful means in respect of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

PM Phúc is on the final leg of his visit to Belgium from October 16 – 18, being made at the invitation of his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel.

On the occasion of the visit, the two sides issued a joint statement, stressing the importance of promoting trade and investment between Việt Nam and Belgium, and expressed their hope that the EVFTA would be signed and ratified soon.

They agreed to step up bilateral ties in diplomacy, economics, social affairs, trade, education and science, and to maintain regular exchanges.

Belgium was among the first Western countries to set up diplomatic relations with Việt Nam, following the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, in 1973.

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. — VNS