Brussels (VNA) – Vietnam always
considers Belgium a partner of leading importance in the European Union (EU), Prime
Minister Pham Minh Chinh told his Belgian counterpart Alexander De Croo during
their talks in Brussels on December 13 (local time).
Speaking at the talks, which took place following a
welcome ceremony for the Vietnamese leader at Egmont Palace the same day,
Croo stressed that Chinh’s visit is of great significance as it contributes to
taking the bilateral relationship into a new development period and making it
more intensive, practical and effective, especially in trade and investment.
The host PM affirmed that Belgium attaches
importance to Vietnam’s role and position in Asia-Pacific.
The two spoke of the socio-economic situation in
each country, the bilateral collaboration and regional and international issues
of shared concern in a candid manner.
They rejoiced at positive developments of the
bilateral relations despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with regular
contact and thriving trade-investment ties, saying many Belgian projects are
operating successfully in the Southeast Asian nation.
Chinh used the occasion to thank the Belgian government and people for their donation of COVID-19 vaccines, helping Vietnam push
back the pandemic, reopen its doors, and recover the national economy.
The PMs agreed on major orientations and measures to
foster the comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, especially to deepen the collaboration within the framework of the strategic partnership in agriculture.
The two countries will also step up cooperation in
investment and trade as well as other potential spheres, increase the exchange of all-level
delegations, and further materialise bilateral cooperation mechanisms
Vietnam in 2023 when the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties.
In terms of trade and investment, the two sides
pledged to encourage their agencies and businesses to continue fully and
effectively implementing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
Chinh urged Belgium to soon ratify the EU-Vietnam
Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), encourage Belgian firms to invest in Vietnam
in such areas as digital transformation, renewable energy, logistics, seaport
and strategic infrastructure, and support the European Commission (EC) to
remove its “yellow card” on Vietnamese fisheries.
Host and guest highlighted the positive outcomes
after five years implementing the strategic partnership in agriculture.
Chinh suggested Belgium assist Vietnam in circular
agriculture-based economy and smart agriculture, along with the prevention and
control of saltwater intrusion and drought in the Mekong Delta.
He also called for Belgium’s support in the realisation
of the national strategy on green growth for 2021-2030, towards sustainable,
The two countries will promote the trilateral
cooperation mechanism with African countries, with Belgium’s financial and
logistics assistance, to cope with issues regarding food security in the world.
The Belgian side suggested establishing a working
group to soon launch specific cooperation projects in agriculture.
The two sides consented to expand cooperation in defence-security, education-training, and culture, with the organisation of cultural
days in each country to boost people-to-people exchange, while bolstering coordination
in handling global challenges.
In climate change response, the Belgian PM expressed
his willingness to help Vietnam with finance and technology to fulfill its
international climate commitments, especially renewable energy technology and
The PMs also exchanged views on regional and
international issues of shared concern, and pledged to continue their close
coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums and international organisations
as both countries are members of the United Nations Human Rights Council for
2023-2025, thus contributing to ensuring peace, security, cooperation and development
in the region and the world at large.
On the East Sea issue, the two sides reiterated the
importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of
navigation and aviation in the East Sea, and voiced their support for the
respect of law, neither using nor threatening to use force, and settling
disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law, particularly
the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Following their talks, the PMs witnessed the signing
of several cooperation agreements between ministries, agencies, localities and businesses
of the two countries in the fields of agriculture, green marine economy and
food safety, among others./.