Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s trip to attend the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit and visit Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium from December 9 to 15 will extend a message of a strongly recovering Vietnam which is ready to cooperate with other countries to build a peaceful and stable environment, and uphold the role of multilateralism.
It is also expected to help Vietnam effectively take advantage of important resources from the European Union and member countries for its post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and development.
The Government leader’s tour demonstrates Vietnam’s activeness in and responsible contributions to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as the international community, particularly in the context that the region and the world are facing unpredictable challenges and complicated developments.
The week-long trip is hoped to help intensify and consolidate Vietnam’s relations with Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, especially as 2023 marks 50 years since Vietnam set up its diplomatic relations with the three countries.
This is the first time ASEAN and the EU have held a summit to celebrate 45 years of bilateral relations, with the participation of leaders of their member countries, since the establishment of the dialogue relations in 1977, and the strategic partnership in 2020.
The Vietnam-EU relationship has developed extensively over the past years. Vietnam is the first ASEAN country to have all frameworks for cooperation in politics, economics, defence and security with the union.
The EU is the third largest export market, the fifth largest import market and the sixth biggest investor to Vietnam. In terms of development aid, the union is one of Vietnam's largest non-refundable aid donors.
Over the past 50 years, Vietnam’s relations with the three above-mentioned European nations have developed well, through the maintenance of delegation exchanges and contacts, and the coordination and mutual support at international forums.
Luxembourg is the third largest EU investor in Vietnam with a total capital of US$2.6 billion, and one of the first countries to ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
Luxembourg considers Vietnam as one of the priority countries in development assistance with total aid reaching EUR129 million (US$135.6 million) so far. The two sides are currently discussing and promoting cooperation possibility in the fields of ecological agriculture and climate change response.
The Netherlands is Vietnam's second largest trade partner in Europe and the EU's biggest investor in the Southeast Asian nation. Bilateral trade reached US$8.37 billion in 2021, up nearly 10% year-on-year, and US$8.2 billion in the first nine months of this year, up 36%. The country is running 380 projects in Vietnam, with a total capital of US$13.5 billion.
Meanwhile, Belgium is Vietnam's sixth largest export market in Europe with two-way trade reaching US$4.3 billion in 2021, up 54% compared to 2020.
PM Pham Minh Chinh’s will help Vietnam expand its collaboration in pharmaceutical technology and logistics with Luxembourg, circular economy and renewable energy with the Netherlands, and marine economy and ecological agriculture with Belgium.