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Thursday, October 5, 2023

Vietnam, Belgium aim to boost bilateral trade to US$7 billion

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has called for collaborative efforts between Vietnamese and Belgian authorities to elevate bilateral trade to US$7 billion in the next two or three years, leveraging the advantages presented by the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The prime minister’s statement was made on August 21 during a meeting with Stephanie D’Hose, President of the Belgian Senate, who is on a six-day visit to Vietnam from August 21 to 25.

PM Chinh highlighted Belgium’s prominent position as one of Vietnam’s key trading partners within the European Union (EU), while also underscoring Vietnam’s role as Belgium’s largest partner among ASEAN countries.

In 2022, two-way trade between the two nations reached US$4.73 billion.

PM Chinh proposed that Belgium streamline procedures to facilitate the entry of key Vietnamese export items —such as footwear, electronics, and agricultural products—into Belgian and EU markets.

He underscored Vietnam’s unwavering commitment to fostering bilateral relations with Belgium, particularly in vital domains like conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and climate change adaptation.

President Stephanie D’Hose of the Belgian Senate concurred with the Vietnamese prime minister’s recommendations to enhance cooperation between the two nations. She emphasized the escalating interest of Belgian businesses in the Vietnamese market.

Additionally, President D’Hose affirmed that the Federal Parliament of Belgium is accelerating efforts to ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement. The aim is to conclude this process before Belgium wraps up its presidency of the Council of the EU in June 2024.

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