Source: Viet Nam News Agency (VNA) (Viet Nam)
Source type: News Agency
Published on: 13 Aug 2009
HA NOI - Viet Nam wanted to firm up ties with Belgium, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at a meeting with Belgium's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yves Leterme, yesterday.
Applauding a working visit to Viet Nam by Leterme, Dung said he was pleased at the development of relations between the two countries as well as at the results of talks between the Belgian guest and Viet Nam’s Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem.
Next year, Viet Nam will become the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Belgium will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Therefore, Dung said, the two countries should boost co-operation to add to the success of the eighth Asia-Europe meeting in Belgium that year.
The Prime Minister thanked the Belgian government for its development assistance to Viet Nam, adding that more was needed, especially for education and vocational training.
Leterme pledged to consider providing this support, because they were fields in which Belgium had much experience.
Dung said bilateral trade between the two countries reached US$1.4 billion in 2008, of which $80 million involved Belgian investment in Viet Nam. However, there were areas in which the potential was still unexploited.
Leterme said it was his first working visit to Viet Nam and Asia since he was appointed as Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs in July.
He said that during the present economic downturn, Viet Nam maintained an admirable economic growth.
He agreed with Dung about establishing an inter-governmental committee to cement ties between the two nations in the economic, trade and investment sectors. — VNS