|Vietnam's Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son
The two sides noted with joy the active, diverse and pragmatic developments of the diplomatic ties, friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between Vietnam and Belgium over the past time, which, they said, spread various sectors at different levels.
They agreed to increase the exchange of delegations, especially at the high level, as well as enhance mutual support and cooperation at multilateral forums and international organisations like the UN, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the cooperation forum between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the EU, and the International Francophone Organisation (OIF).
The Belgian side affirmed its support for the signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in 2018, saying the early implementation of the deal would bring tangible benefits to the EU and its member countries.
In terms of economic collaboration, they consented to boost trade ties and create conditions for businesses of the two countries to join hands in such priority areas as sea transport, logistics, green technology, agriculture, renewable energy and health care.
They will maintain meetings of the joint committee on economic cooperation in order to orient the economic links and improve the efficiency of coordination between the two countries’ cooperation mechanisms, as well as regional and community collaboration.
At the same time, the two sides will also step up partnerships in culture and education, looking towards training high-quality human resources.
Regarding cooperation and security in Asia-Pacific, they stressed the importance of peace, stability, security, aviation and navigation freedom and safety in the East Sea, and the peaceful settlement of disputes without use of force or threat to use force, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) and on the basis of respect for legal and diplomatic processes.
They will partner with each other to organise cultural and economic activities marking the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (1973-2018) in each country.
During his stay in Vietnam, Dirk Achten co-chaired the fourth meeting of the Vietnam-Belgium joint committee on economic cooperation, visited Vietnam’s peace-keeping centre and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, and attended a workshop on 40-year agricultural cooperation between Vietnam and Belgium.