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Viet Nam, Belgium outline cooperation framework through 2010

(VNA) - Viet Nam and Belgium signed on Mar. 9 a document outlining aims for their cooperation in the 2007-2010 period.

Signatories were Armand De Decker, Belgian Minister for Cooperation and Development and Cao Viet Sinh, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, on behalf of the two governments.

The signing took place during the fifth session of the Viet Nam-Belgium Cooperation Joint Committee held on Mar. 8-9 in Brussels . The session reviewed the two countries' implementation of cooperation projects in the past years and mapped out directions for future cooperation.

According to the document, Belgium will provide Viet Nam with 32 million euros in the 2007-2010 period, focusing mostly on developing human resources.

The cooperation will prioritise management of water resources, the protection of the environment, healthcare and education.

Bilateral cooperation will also concentrate on increasing the working capacity of main State institutions and local authorities, raising the quality of State management and public services.

Bettering infrastructural facilities in rural areas to help Viet Nam reduce poverty in addition to achieving sustainable development is another aim of the programme.

Minister for Cooperation and Development Armand De Decker noted that the cooperation programme will contribute to bolstering the two countries' relations which have been developing for almost 30 years since the establishment of their bilateral partnership in 1977.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh expressed hopes that with its increased cooperation, Belgium will assist Viet Nam in being scored off the list of low-income countries by 2010 and rapidly integrating into the world economy.

By 2006, Belgium had invested in 25 projects with a total capital of nearly 75 million USD in Viet Nam , ranking seventh among European Union investors./.

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