Vietnam and Belgium have been developing relations for 50 years

Belgium has contributed positively to Vietnam’s success through development cooperation projects. Both sides have closely coordinated in multilateral fora, particularly in the framework of the United Nations and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the ASEAN-EU partnership.

The politico-diplomatic relations between the two sides have developed in a positive, diverse and substantial manner at the state, regional and community levels, as reflected by high-level visits.

In particular, Prime Minister Famin Sin’s visit to Belgium in December 2022 had significant implications for bilateral relations. During the visit, the Vietnamese and Belgian Prime Ministers agreed to strengthen political trust and deepen cooperation within the framework of the Strategic Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture, while further developing trade and investment partnerships that contribute to sustainable development in each country, and expanding cooperation to other potential areas. , and working closely to tackle global challenges.

In terms of economic-trade cooperation, Belgium is currently Vietnam’s sixth largest trading partner among EU members. In 2021, Vietnam was Belgium’s 15th largest importer among non-EU members.

Two-way trade increased from USD 1.8 billion in 2013 to nearly USD 2.8 billion in 2020. In 2021, this figure will increase by 53.8% year-on-year to US$4.29 billion. It is expected to reach USD 4.5 billion in 2022 and USD 2.27 billion in the first seven months of 2023.

Cooperation between economic institutions at the central, local and sectoral levels of Vietnam and the three Belgian regions of Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels has been expanded and strengthened.

Belgium showed strong support for signing and ratifying the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and was one of the first countries to ratify the Vietnam-EU Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

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In terms of investment, Belgian companies have invested more than USD 1.1 billion in 90 projects in Vietnam until July 2023. Meanwhile, by the end of 2022, Vietnam had four projects worth US$12.6 million in Belgium.

The partnership between Vietnam and Belgium in the fields of development cooperation dates back to 1977. In July 2018, Belgium stopped providing non-repayable aid to Vietnam, but continued to cooperate with Vietnam through soft loans.

Both sides enjoy fruitful cooperation in many fields including education and training. Belgium has become one of the five EU members hosting the largest number of Vietnamese students.

The two countries have also closely cooperated in the fields of science-technology, transport, security, defense and culture, and have expanded their ties to other areas such as climate change and other non-traditional security matters.

Currently, more than 13,000 Vietnamese people live in Belgium, acting as a bridge for Vietnam-Belgium friendship.

Belgium’s Senate President Stephanie de Hoes is scheduled to pay an official visit to Vietnam from August 21 to 25 at the invitation of Vietnamese National Assembly Speaker Vuong Dinh Hue.

The visit, which takes place in the context of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Belgium, is expected to contribute to further deepening the partnership between Vietnam and the European country.

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