Vietnam, French Community of Belgium desire stronger cooperation

Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Nguyen Van Thao hailed the cooperation between Vietnam and the French Community of Belgium and effective collaboration within the framework of the Francophonie community at a meeting with Prime Minister of the community Pierre-Yves Jeholet on September 16.

The Vietnamese diplomat thanked the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles for its efforts to promote sustainable and human resources development in Vietnam through bilateral cooperation projects. He also affirmed that Vietnam will continue to closely coordinate to effectively carry out the Cooperation Programme for the 2022 - 2024 period that was signed in Hanoi in November 2021.

According to the ambassador, the enhancement of Vietnam-Belgium relations will effectively contribute to economic recovery efforts, ensure supply chains as well as a connection between the Association of Southeast Asia (ASEAN) and Europe.

He noted with pleasure that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has brought about positive results, with two-way trade between the two sides reaching 3.6 billion EUR (US$3.6 million) in 2021, an increase of 15% compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Vietnam is currently the 15th largest trading partner of Belgium in the world, the 6th in Asia and the 2nd in ASEAN.
On this occasion, the Ambassador suggested the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles hasten Belgium to soon complete the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

He also asked the federation to coordinate in pushing up the exchange of delegations at all levels, cultural and people-to-people exchanges on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Belgium.

For his part, Minister-Premier Jeholet said that he always attaches importance to and wishes to expand activities to step up bilateral cooperation with Vietnam, as well as work with the country to preserve the values of the Francophone Community.  

He also pledged to urge relevant Belgian agencies to finalize the ratification of the EVIPA.