Many of them are operating in such areas as steel production, construction, food processing and medical equipment manufacturing.
Among them was Petercam, an independent investment firm specializing in private asset management and estate planning in institutional asset management and in investment banking activities.
Patrick Vande Kerchhove, director of the Hasselt-based Petercam Office, noted that Vietnam is a developing economy that has achieved impressive growth over the years.
He made an in-depth analysis of Vietnam’s macro-economy, socio-political stability foreign investment attraction, inflation, foreign trade and labour force, which he said are useful Belgian businesses wishing to invest in the Southeast Asian nation.
Vietnam has an open, potential economy which many Belgian businesses find attractive to place investments, he said.
Petercam’s lead economist Bart Van Craeynest echoed Patrick’s view that Vietnam is one of a handful of emerging markets that have had impressive development, and said that it will continue to be an attractive address for EU investors, especially those from Belgium.
For his part, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Pham Sanh Chau briefed participants on Vietnam’s efforts to weather the global economic recession and said the country is proactively taking part in negotiations of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and free trade agreements (FTA).
He said the growing ties between Vietnam and Belgium over the past 40 years are presenting numerous opportunities for the two countries to strengthen cooperation in various areas.
Belgium became Vietnam’s 7th largest European Union (EU) trade partner in 2012, with a two-way trade turnover of US$1.55 billion.
It also ranked 35th amongst foreign direct investors in Vietnam. The two countries are implementing 41 joint cooperation projects ranging from bio-technology, banking, education and training, to water resource treatment.
There are more than 90 Belgian representative offices in Vietnam, mainly in the fields of footwear, garment and textiles, seafood, coffee, agricultural products, electronics, software and ship-building.