Belgian groups urged to expand operations in Vietnam

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has called on businesses and groups from Belgium’s Wallonia region to expand their operations in Vietnam in new areas as well as introduce other firms to the country.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Vice-President of Wallonia at the event (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Vice-President of Wallonia at the event (Photo: VNA)

During a working breakfast with Vice-President of Wallonia and Minister of Economy, Foreign Trade, Spatial Planning and Agriculture Willy Borsus and several Belgian corporate executives on December 15, PM Chinh said he and his Belgian counterpart had agreed in their recent talks to lift bilateral ties to a new height.

The PM also highlighted the good relations between the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in which Vietnam is a member. The EU is the first developed economy to sign an FTA with the ASEAN. Vietnam, along with Singapore, also has a bilateral FTA with the EU.

He hailed Wallonia as an important region of Belgium with strengths in hi-tech agriculture, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy and the environment which suit Vietnam’s directions in attracting foreign investment, which means there is great room for bilateral cooperation in the future.

PM Chinh said both sides should continue pushing ahead with effective cooperation in vaccines and education-training, and advance their joint work in emerging areas such as the green and circular economy, digital transformation and logistics.

He also asked the Wallonia region to enhance tertiary education cooperation with Vietnam, provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students, and boost collaboration with Vietnamese vocational schools.

Chinh welcomed an idea of Wallonia officials and businesses on building a preservation and transport centre for Vietnamese goods, especially seasonal fruits, and assigned Vietnamese agencies to work closely with Belgian agencies and businesses to realise the idea.

Borsus, for his part, hailed Vietnam as the fourth largest trade partner of Wallonia and a priority partner of the French-speaking Belgian community in the region in terms of healthcare, socio-economy, culture and science.

Wallonia companies wish to advance cooperation with Vietnam in healthcare, medicine production and distribution, vaccines, agriculture, food processing, energy and tertiary education, he said.

He added that he is looking forward to welcoming more Vietnamese investors to the region and is ready to help Vietnam set up a goods and farm produce distribution centre, thus enabling Vietnamese products to penetrate the European market.

A representative of the John Cockerill group also pledged to consider PM Chinh’s proposal to build a research and development centre and train the workforce in Vietnam. Founded in 1817, the group specialises in green hydrogen technology and renewable energy.

The Vietnamese leader also answered questions raised by Belgian enterprises at the event.