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Vietnam Today

Belgium's deputy foreign minister to visit Vietnam

Released at: 19:36, 20/11/2017

Belgium's deputy foreign minister to visit Vietnam

Photo from facebook.com/belgiuminvietnam

Deputy Minister Dirk Achten to conduct working visit from November 22 to 24.

by Ngoc Chi

Belgium’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dirk Achten will conduct a working visit to Vietnam from November 22 to November 24.

He will hold political consultations with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son on November 22, discussing the evolution of bilateral relations between Belgium and Vietnam and the progress made concerning the forthcoming EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. 

He will also co-preside with Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong over the 4th Joint Economic Commission on November 24, discussing the socioeconomic aspect of the relationship.

Economic ties between the two countries have been steadily deepening over recent years. Belgium is now the sixth-largest exporter to Vietnam within the EU and the eighth-largest importer of Vietnamese commodities. Trade was around $2.45 billion in 2016. An increasing number of Belgian companies are investing in Vietnam.

Belgium is proud to support numerous flagship projects and the new EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement will present new opportunities to further boost exchanges.

Belgium and Vietnam will celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations in 2018 and this year the partners also look back on 40 years of Belgian Development Cooperation being in Vietnam.

Deputy Minister Achten’s visit will be an opportunity to further strengthen the bonds between the two countries in many different areas, from trade to cooperation in agriculture.

On November 23, he and Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh will jointly open a seminar dedicated to cooperation in the agriculture sector. 

On the same day, he will witness the signing of a grant agreement for Belgian funding of the Vietnam-Belgium Friendship Association within the framework of the Facility for Capacity Building project. The grant aims to further strengthen ties between Belgian and Vietnamese businesses and also the relationship between Belgium and its more than 2,000 Vietnamese alumni.

Many Vietnamese have received scholarships from Belgian Development Cooperation to study in Belgium, which represents an important people-to-people relationship that will be further exploited.

On November 23, Deputy Minister Achten will be the guest of honor at a reception on the occasion of King’s Day. He and his Vietnamese counterpart will also reveal the logo celebrating 45 years of diplomatic relations on the same day.

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