Belgian Senate President’s visit expected to boost cooperation: legislator

The official visit to Vietnam from August 21-25 by President of the Belgian Senate Stephanie D'Hose is expected to forge economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries, as well as their legislative ties, a legislator has said.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and President of the Belgian Senate Stephanie D'Hose in a photo taken in Brussels last year (Photo: VNA)

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and President of the Belgian Senate Stephanie D'Hose in a photo taken in Brussels last year (Photo: VNA)

It also aims to enhance coordination between Vietnam and Belgium at multilateral forums like the United Nations (UN), and regional and international inter-parliamentary organization, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Committee for External Relations Don Tuan Phong told the press ahead of the visit.

He stressed that D'Hose is the highest-ranking politician of Belgium to visit Vietnam this year, adding the trip also offers a chance for the two sides to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations (March 22, 1973).

Within the framework of the visit, the Vietnamese NA is scheduled to sign cooperation agreements with both the Belgian Senate and the House of Representatives, Phong said.

The official emphasised that Belgium is Vietnam’s important partner in Europe and the world as well, particularly in economy and trade, adding Belgium serves as a gateway for Vietnamese goods to access the European market.

As the location where international agencies and organisations and businesses, and EU agencies are headquartered, Belgium plays a crucial role in promoting relations between Vietnam and the EU and the region at large, he continued.

During the visit, the two sides will review their cooperation outcomes over the past five years, and set forth cooperation measures in the time ahead, especially in agriculture in which they have set up a strategic partnership, according to the legislator.

Phong pointed out that Vietnam and Belgium boast strengths and potential to step up collaboration, particularly in the European nation’s spearhead industrial sectors, as well as in services, logistics, clean energy, renewable energy, education-training, and science-technology.

Leaders of the Belgian Senate and the Vietnamese NA will use the occasion to seek measures to strengthen the relations between the two countries, covering their legislative ties, he said, adding that D'Hose is scheduled to hold talks with NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, pay a call to State President Vo Van Thuong, meet with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, have a working session with Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, and visit some localities and joint projects of the two countries.

Phong said Belgium has remained a big development partner of Vietnam over the past years, elaborating that the country has provided Vietnam with about US$300 million, mainly from 1993, which has significantly helped the Southeast Asian nation in socio-economic development.

Apart from coordination at multinational forums, including those of the UN, the two countries have paid due attention to economic and trade collaboration, the legislator went on.

Vietnam hopes the Belgian Senate will quickly ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), helping ensure the interests and access of residents and businesses, especially investors, of both sides, Phong said.

He also called on Belgium to support the European Commission to soon lift its “yellow card” warning on Vietnamese seafood with Vietnam’s reality and commitments to sustainable development put into consideration.

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