Vietnam, Belgium seek stronger medical partnership

The Belgian Vietnamese Alliance (BVA) and IBA, a world leading Belgian company in particle accelerator technology and a supplier of equipment and services for proton radiation therapy, have jointly held a seminar to discuss life science and health in Vietnam.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Nguyen Van Thao, Minister-President of Wallonia Willy Borsus and other delegates visit cancer treatment solutions at IBA (Photo: VNA)
Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Nguyen Van Thao, Minister-President of Wallonia Willy Borsus and other delegates visit cancer treatment solutions at IBA (Photo: VNA)

Claude Dupont, Proton Therapy Sales Director at IBA, said that in Vietnam, proton radiation is considered the latest technology in treating cancer, one of the most dangerous diseases in the world.

Doctor Bui Quang Bieu, Vice Director of Military Hospital 108, introduced the cancer treatment capacity of the hospital and its application of radiation therapy.

He said that thanks to the Belgian Government's support, the hospital has a contingent of leading experts and the first 30-MeV Cyclotron accelerator centre in Vietnam.

He said he hopes that with its strength in diagnosing and treating cancer, the Belgian side will continue to assist Vietnam in the field.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Nguyen Van Thao highly valued the cooperation and support the Wallonia region has given to Vietnam, and highlighted the bilateral cooperation potential in health care.

Vietnam is an attractive market thanks to its large population and high spending on health care services as well as great demand for medicine and medical equipment, he said, adding that the country is also a promising partner with a large number of skilled doctors and rich experience in epidemic control.

With 15 free trade agreements (FTAs) signed with 60 countries around the globe, Vietnam can become a medical centre of ASEAN and an exporter of medicine and medical equipment, he held.

The two sides should also beef up their partnership on education, energy, agriculture and seaport, he suggested.

For his part, Minister-President of the Wallonia region Willy Borsus said that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will help further promote trade between Belgium and Vietnam.

He also showed hope to welcome investment from Vietnam, an important trade partner of Wallonia. Last year, Vietnam ranked fourth among trade partners of the region in Asia, only after China, Japan and India. He said that Wallonia is interested in the approval of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

Borsus underlined that pharmaceuticals and medical equipment are among the strengths of Wallonia. Its medicine and biotechnology shipments account for over 80% of its total exports to Vietnam

He showed his delight at the Vietnamese Government's decision to extend the circulation licences for COVID-19 vaccines, enabling people to benefit from vaccines made by GSK, which boasts three production facilities in Wallonia.

Speaking to the Vietnam News Agency's correspondents in Brussels, Borsus said along with health care, Wallonia firms also hope to promote cooperation with Vietnam in medicine and vaccine production and distribution, agriculture, food, energy and tertiary training.

He said he believes that IBA innovations in discovering and treating cancer will bring comprehensive solutions to Vietnamese hospitals.

IBA is providing equipment to 53% of total cancer hospitals in 40 countries. It is operating three cyclotron accelerator centres in Vietnam.