President to meet government and industry leaders and well as Belgian organizations all around the country from November 1 to 7.
The President of Belgium’s Senate, Ms. Christine Defraigne, will pay an official visit to Vietnam from November 1 to November 7 at the invitation of National Assembly Chairman Mr. Nguyen Sinh Hung.
The visit will be an opportunity for further exchange of experience and for deepening cooperation between the two legislatures, hence contributing considerably to enhancing the sound relationship between the two countries and their people.
Belgium attaches great importance to parliamentary diplomacy in strengthening bilateral ties in various sectors of mutual potential, strength and needs, particularly in economics, commerce, investment, culture, innovation, and education and training.
On November 3 Mrs. Defraigne will have an official meeting with the NA Chairman Hung and will also meet with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
On November 4 she will meet Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh, and Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan.
She will also have meetings with leaders from Quang Ninh province on November 1, Hai Phong city on November 2, Ho Chi Minh City on November 5, and Ba Ria Vung Tau province on November 6.
Mrs. Defraigne will also pay a call on the Dinh Vu Industrial Zone in Hai Phong, where the Belgian company Rent a Port has developed a major port, the National Studio for Scientific Films and Documentaries (which is supported by Wallonie-Bruxelles International) and Military Hospital 108 in Hanoi (to which the Belgian company IBA delivered nuclear medicine equipment), the Pediatric Hospital No. 2 (which collaborates with Belgian universities) and the Belgian NGO Mekong Plus in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as a number of Belgian investment companies such as AB Inbev, Molenbergnatie, and Puratos - Grand Place in Binh Duong province.
Friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between Belgium and Vietnam has developed over the 42 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1973.
From being long-standing partners in development cooperation, the two have been maturing bilateral ties in different sectors, including economics, trade, investment, culture, environment and water, education and innovation, and tourism.
Two-way trade has soared in recent years. Belgium is the sixth-largest exporter to Vietnam in the EU, with nearly 1,000 exporters, and is the eighth-largest importer of Vietnamese commodities.
The two economies grew two-way trade by 70 per cent between 2003 and 2011 and the volume of trade surpasses €1.2 billion per year.
An increasing number of Belgian companies are investing in Vietnam. It is currently welcoming around 10,000 Belgian tourists each year and more and more Vietnamese tourists are discovering Belgium.
Since 1978 more than 2,000 Vietnamese students, professionals, and researchers have studied in Belgium with or without Belgian scholarships. Belgian universities have cooperated with their Vietnamese counterparts for more than 20 years and achieved outstanding results.
Belgium, with its central location in Europe, extensive ports, including the second largest port in Europe - Antwerp - and freight airports, including Liège Airport, which was nominated as the best airport in the world, and top quality infrastructure and logistic services, offers an excellent entry point into the European market for Vietnamese goods.
Within a radius of 750 kilometers, 230 million consumers can be reached. These strengths will become even more crucial once the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is concluded.