Vietnam – Belgium: Successful Development Partnership

2:08:34 PM | 12/6/2019

Over the past four decades, Belgium has shared experiences, lessons, challenges and proposals of development orientations with Vietnam in the important areas such as water management, response to climate change, green growth, public administration, and human resource development.

 

Vietnam-Belgium relations have continued to develop positively in all aspects. The two-way trade turnover has increased steadily over the years and reached US$2.8 billion in 2018. Many Belgian businesses have been operating effectively in Vietnam. The two countries have carried out many cooperation agreements in education - training, agriculture, high technology, seaports, industrial parks development, etc. After 20 years of implementation, the cooperation project for master training between their universities has trained approximately 2,000 masters. This is considered one outstanding project of cooperation in training and research between the two countries.

Speaking at the seminar “Belgium - Vietnam: Successful Development Partnership” recently organized by the Belgian Embassy in Vietnam in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Belgian Ambassador Paul Jansen said that development relationship started from gifts of diesel locomotives from Belgium in the first years after liberation, then developed into a relationship of professional experience sharing. Many projects have been implemented in dairy sector. The Vietnam Women's Union has built a successful credit program for female entrepreneurs thanks to Belgian support. The Belgian Development Agency (Enabel) has contributed to improving the education system through budget support. Enabel has also worked with related partners to develop a green growth promotion system.

Also according to Ambassador Paul Jansen, the Belgian Government has provided assistance to the provinces severely affected by climate change such as Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, and Ha Tinh. A public administration program has been established to improve public services for people in the three provinces of Kon Tum, Ha Tinh, and Nghe An. There is also a fund dedicated to supporting research on solutions such as environmental taxation, food safety and agricultural research.

For investment, over 40 years, Belgium has invested in Vietnam more than €500 million. The Belgian Government's non-refundable aid to Vietnam has amounted to €170 million. In addition to programs/projects implemented within the framework of Vietnam-Belgium Indicative Cooperation Programs (ICP), Vietnam has also received funding from communities and regions of Belgium such as Wallonia-Brussels and Flanders.

In addition to non-refundable aid, the Belgian Government has provided preferential credit with a total value of nearly EUR 200 million to Vietnam. This is a very important source of support in the construction and economic development of Vietnam. There have been many successful Belgian investment projects in Vietnam and Vietnam is constantly improving the investment environment to promote projects of foreign investors, including those of Belgium effective businesses in Vietnam in the future.

Belgium also wishes to cooperate with Vietnam in the agricultural sector, promoting a clean agriculture with a food safety assurance process. The two countries signed the "Strategic Partnership Agreement on Sustainable Agriculture" during Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's official visit to Belgium in October 2018. A lot of Belgian businesses have been contributing to the sustainable development of Vietnam through projects of building green industrial parks or supplementing sustainable values ​​in the cocoa industry.

Also at the seminar “Belgium - Vietnam: Successful Partnership Development”, all participants affirmed that future cooperation will focus on cooperation between two countries’ universities (€11 million budget has been allocated for the period 2017-2021), supporting the private sector, expanding business relations and sharing experiences on issues such as agriculture and environmental technology.

Thu Ha