VOV.VN - Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation arrived in Brussels on December 13 for the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit and an official visit to Belgium at the invitation of President of the European Council Charles Michel and Belgian PM Alexander De Croo.
Vietnam and Belgium will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations (1973-2023) next year.
Over the past 50 years, the relationship between Vietnam and Belgium has grown steadily by maintaining delegation exchanges and high-level meetings, boosting coordination and offering mutual support at international forums, especially in trade, investment and agriculture.
Belgium is Vietnam's sixth largest export market in Europe with two-way trade turnover continuing to maintain its growth momentum, reaching US$4.3 billion in 2021, up 54% on-year.
The two sides are carrying out many cooperation programs within the framework of the strategic partnership on agriculture and are expanding cooperation in the field of security and defence, including activities aimed combating human trafficking and child abuse, military medical training, mine clearance and peacekeeping operations.
Regarding investment, Belgium has run 80 projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of US$1.1 billion. In terms of development cooperation, Belgium has provided US$ 300 million in development aid and 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by 2021 for Vietnam.
In Belgium, the Vietnamese PM will hold talks and meetings with top Belgian leaders, hold a working session with Belgian economic groups, and meet overseas Vietnamese.
His official visit aims to boost ties between Vietnam and Belgium, especially in the marine economy and ecological agriculture.
Concerning the ASEAN- EU relations, both sides established their relationship in 1977 and upgraded it to a strategic partnership in 2020. The upcoming commemorative summit will be the first of its kind, marking the 45th anniversary of ties.
The PM's trip includes various bilateral and multilateral activities. Through the trip, Vietnam affirms its role, responsibility and sense of solidarity in ASEAN, contributing to further deepening the ASEAN-EU strategic partnership and ties between Vietnam and EU member states.
Apart from attending the commemorative summit and related meetings, the Vietnamese cabinet leader is set to have a host bilateral meetings with leaders of the EU, and EU and ASEAN member states.