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|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (front, second, right) greets participants in the Vietnam-EU-Belgium Business Forum on October 17 (Photo: VNA)|
Attending the Vietnam-EU-Belgium Business Forum jointly held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Belgian Vietnamese Alliance, embassies and trade offices of Vietnam and Belgium, PM Phuc said that the Government pledges favourable conditions to connect enterprises from both sides for the benefits of the firms and the people.
Two-way trade has increased tenfolds in nearly a decade, he noted, adding that it is likely to rise to 53 billion USD this year.
Laying stress on the Europe-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) which is expected to open the door for the enterprises to capitalize on their cooperation potential when it takes effect, PM Phuc hoped that the European business association, especially Belgian firms, will raise their voice to push the signing of the deal.
Vietnam will serve as a bridge for European enterprises to break into ASEAN market toward a free and fair trade, he said, underlining Vietnam’s advantages for Belgian investments like stable socio-political and macro-economic conditions, and well-developed port systems.
Together with the imminent signing of the EVFTA, Vietnam has participated in 15 new-generation free trade agreements, which means that if Belgian firms enter Vietnam, they will get into a global market, he underlined.
At the forum, PM Phuc and officials of both nations witnessed the signing of several cooperation documents between the VCCI and Belgian Vietnamese Alliance, Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group and European mobile network business centre, and Vietnam Project company and Sarens Group.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Belgium – Vietnam Friendship Alliance Andries Gryffoy said Belgian firms are interested in seeking opportunities in health care, real estate, green energy, food, beverages, seaport infrastructure and other fields in Vietnam, adding that they are promising investors.
He said Belgium boasts a business-friendly government, dynamic research environment, and education system up to international standards and high labour productivity.
Lying in the heart of the EU with a population of 420 million and modern infrastructure, Belgium focuses on industries such as aerospace, chemicals, energy, waste and wastewater treatment, artificial intelligence and 4.0 technology, which are potential fields for partnership with Vietnamese firms, he said.
The same day, PM Phuc had working sessions with representatives from EU and Belgian leading firms operating in Vietnam, during which they informed the Vietnamese leader on outcomes and investment and business plans in the Southeast Asian nation in such fields as oil and gas, renewable energy, agriculture, fertiliser and insecticide production, seaport infrastructure, rubber, and tire production. They also made recommendations on how to accelerate cooperation between the business communities of Vietnam and the EU, as well as between those of Vietnam and Belgium in particular.
Earlier, on October 16, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received leaders of Solveigh and Nijhuis – the Dutch businesses with experience in anti-erosion, water exploitation and use and carrying out a climate change adaptation project in central Vietnam.
The PM hailed Solveigh and Nijhuis as well as other Dutch partners in conducting surveys, research and working solutions to minimise coastal erosion in Vietnam. He described their work as a specific action to implement cooperation programmes within the framework of the strategic partnership on adaptation to climate change and water management between Vietnam and the Netherlands.
Menno Holterman, Managing Director of Nijhuis, said the project’s partners inspected erosion in Hoi An and agreed to carry out another project to address challenges in the area. It aims to improve safety and livelihood for locals, and protect and restore Hoi An coast, while forming new eco-system tourist sites there. Investment for this will be arranged by European and Dutch organisations and businesses and Vietnam’s T&T group.
Representatives of the two Dutch groups expressed their wish to continue receiving attention and facilitation from the Prime Minister and relevant agencies of Vietnam during the project’s implementation.
Welcoming proposals of Dutch organisations and businesses, PM Phuc said the Vietnamese Government hopes for experience sharing and support on human resources and technology from the Dutch partners to solve urgent issues in Vietnam, especially coastal and riverbank erosion and subsidence, climate change response, and help local people’s sustainable socio-economic development.
The PM suggested Dutch and Vietnamese partners coordinate with the People’s Committee of Quang Nam province to accelerate the study and survey to have an optimal plan.
The two Dutch groups, T&T group and other partners were asked to work with Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Quang Nam authorities to reach an implementation plan.