Prime Minister Urges Viet Nam, Belgium to Raise Bilateral Trade to US$7 Bln

2:19:45 PM | 8/24/2023

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called on Viet Nam and Belgium to take full advantages brought by the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in a bid to raise the bilateral trade value to US$7 billion in the next 2 or 3 years.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) hosts a reception for President of the Senate of Belgium Stephanie D'Hose, Ha Noi, August 21, 2023

Pham made the above suggestion while hosting a reception for President of the Senate of Belgium Stephanie D'Hose in Ha Noi on August 21.

The PM highlighted the importance of the top Belgian legislator's official visit to Viet Nam, which took place on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 5th anniversary of the establishment of strategic partnership in the agricultural sector. 

The Vietnamese Government backs the extensive, practical and effective relations with Belgium, he noted, adding that Viet Nam is the biggest trade partner of Belgium in ASEAN with the two-way trade value reaching US$4.73 billion in 2022. 

He lauded the new development in the relationship between the two legislative bodies, expecting that the close and effective cooperation between the two agencies will make important contributions to promoting Viet Nam-Belgium ties. 

Pham proposed Belgium create favorable conditions for Viet Nam's agricultural and aquatic products such as rice and coffee as well as garments, footwear, and electronics to get access to Belgium and the EU. 

He took the occasion to call on the Belgian Federal Parliament to early approve the EU-Viet Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) to facilitate both sides' business-to business partnership and advocate the European Commission to remove the "yellow card" on Vietnamese seafoods.  

Pham asked for fostering collaboration in new areas such as renewable energy, digital transformation, innovation, green economy and circular economy. 

He suggested Belgium support Viet Nam to develop circular agriculture, smart agriculture and carry out the National Green Growth Strategy for 2021-2030 towards sustainable development, and environmentally friendly climate change adaption.

The host emphasized the need to set up a tripartite cooperation mechanism between Viet Nam, Belgium and a partner in Africa to cope with food security issues. 

As one of the countries seriously affected by climate change, Pham called on Belgium to provide more resources, finance, institutional building and human resource training for Viet Nam to fulfill commitments at COP26 and help the nation realize specific projects in response to climate change, especially at the Mekong Delta region. 

Stéphanie D'Hose, for her side, consented with proposals of PM Pham, expressing her delight on Viet Nam's socio-economic development, role, status and international integration. 

She said that the Belgian Federal Parliament is actively carrying out procedures to soon approve the EVIPA before the nation ends its Presidency of the Council of the European Union. 

The Senate of Belgium will do its utmost to strengthen Viet Nam-Belgium relations more intensively via action plans, programs and specific projects as proposed by the Vietnamese PM in fields of innovation, trade, supply chain linkage and supporting Vietnamese dioxin victims, she stated.

Source: VGP