Vietnam fosters comprehensive relationship with Europe

Tuesday, 2018-10-16 13:55:21
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Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Head of the Vietnamese Mission to the EU Vu Anh Quang (Photo: VNA)
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NDO - Promoting the Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) is always one of the priorities of strategic importance in Vietnam's foreign policy and international integration process.

The statement was made by Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Head of the Vietnamese Mission to the EU Vu Anh Quang in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, on the occasion of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's visit to Belgium and the EU from October 16-19.

The Ambassador said that during the PM's four-day visit, he will attend the 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM 12) in Brussels on October 18-19 alongside heads of States and Governments of 51 member countries.

Vietnam attaches special importance to the role of ASEM and the country hosted the ASEM Summit in 2005. PM Phuc will deliver a speech at the first working session of this year's Summit which will highlight Vietnam's initiatives and proposals to boost cooperation and linkages between Asia and Europe.

The Vietnamese Government leader is also scheduled to hold a series of meetings with PMs and leaders of other countries to foster the bilateral relations.

The PM will also pay an official visit to Belgium on October 16-17 and is expected to meet King Philippe of Belgium, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, and other Belgium senior officials.

PM Phuc also plans to hold talks with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, and Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade Bernd Lange with the aim of promoting the relationship between Vietnam and the EU.

According to Ambassador Vu Anh Quang, the relations between Vietnam and Belgium have seen increasing development in all areas with the focus on the cooperation on sustainable development goals.

Belgium is the seventh largest trade partner of Vietnam among 28 EU countries and the two-way trade revenue reached US$2.7 billion in 2017. Belgian enterprises have invested approximately US$900 million in Vietnam. Belgium's Antwerp port, the second largest in Europe, is an important gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter Belgian and European markets, Quang noted.

During the PM's visit to Belgium, a number of agreements are expected to be signed between the two sides including the Vietnam-Belgium Strategic Partnership Agreement in Agriculture and the Memorandum of Understanding on the cooperation between Vietnam and Flanders region, the most developed region of Belgium.

The Vietnamese PM's meetings with EU leaders are of great importance in order to promote the early implementation of the Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation between Vietnam and the EU and speed up the signing and approval of the EU-Vietnam Free Trada Agreement (FTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (IPA). These agreements are believed to create a solid political and legal framework for the deeper and more practical bilateral between the two sides.

The EU is the second largest trade partner and the second largest export market of Vietnam. The two-way trade revenue was reported at US$50 billion in 2017 and is anticipated to hit US$55 billion in 2018.

Ambassador Quang said that there are huge opportunities for bilateral relations between Vietnam and Belgium and the two sides will witness new strides in economics, trade and investment, particularly after the signing of the Vietnam-Belgium Strategic Partnership Agreement in Agriculture, the Memorandum of Understanding on the cooperation between Vietnam and Flanders region, and the three-year cooperation programme between Vietnam and Wallonie region in the 2019-2021 period.