Vietnam and Belgium’s economies complement each other, Chinh told the Belgium Business Forum in Brussels on Thursday afternoon. He said Vietnam exports rice, mango, longan, lychee and dragon fruit, while Belgium exports bread, pear and apple.
Vietnam is Belgium’s biggest trade partner in ASEAN. The two countries recorded a trade turnover of $4 billion in the first 10 months of 2022.
Vietnam is making innovative, institutional breakthroughs in investor attraction, Chinh argued. The country is a trusted partner to all countries across the globe, evinced by the fact that Vietnam was chosen as the venue for historic meetings between former U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said the Prime Minister.
Vietnam is now focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship, digital transformation, responding to climate change, and developing both hard and soft infrastructure, all of which will help ensure mutual profits of Belgian investors and local partners, according to Chinh.
PM Chinh also visited the Interuniversity Microelectronics Center in the Flanders region’s Leuven city. The center is one of Belgium and the EU’s leading high-tech research and development centers.
Flanders is one of the top regions in the world in terms of spending on research and development, with 3.6% of its GDP devoted to the sector. The region has 18 universities and four strategic research centers, including IMEC.
Luc Van den hove, IMEC President, said that the center was founded in 1984 and is a Belgian non-profit organization specializing in research and development of digital technology – especially nanotechnology.
He said that as one of the world’s leading innovation centers, IMEC cooperated with global commercial leaders such as Samsung, Intel, Meta, Sony, Google, Apple, Microsoft and others.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said that infrastructure, people and connectivity are the factors that make IMEC successful. The Prime Minister suggested that IMEC strengthen cooperation and connections in Vietnam as a market where research and culture can complement IMEC’s success. He said IMEC could also contribute to local Vietnamese development in what he called a “win-win” partnership.
He said that cooperation must have a beginning before it can reach the finish line, suggesting that the two sides begin cooperating with small steps.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh was on an official visit to Belgium from December 13 to 15, at the invitation of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Before that, Chinh visited Luxembourg and the Netherlands as part of a European tour.