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Vietnam eyes increased ties with Belgium

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Vietnam is eager to increase cooperation with Belgium during a meeting with visiting Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht in Hanoi on June 12.

He said Vietnam particularly wants to step up cooperation with Belgium in economy, trade and investment to tap both countries’ potential after their two-way trade value amounted to 1 billion USD in 2007.

The PM assured the Belgian minister of favourable conditions for Belgian businesses when they do long-term business in the country.

Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht said he valued Vietnam ’s development achievements, particularly in the fight against poverty.

He agreed the two countries should boost their ties based on their existing traditional relationship, especially in trade and investment, saying Belgian businesspeople are interested in hi-tech industries and the production of medical equipment in Vietnam .

Earlier the same day, Belgian minister Karel De Gucht held talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem, discussing ways to further bilateral ties in addition to possibilities for tripartite cooperation with African countries and regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Khiem said he was happy with developments in the two countries’ cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, trade, and investment as well as collaboration at the UN Security Council where both are working as non-permanent members.

He said he expected Belgium to continue to implement its official development assistance programme tailored for Vietnam and support the country’s bids to win the anti-dumping battle for its leather shoes in European markets, and obtain the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and market economy status.

The Belgian minister said his country will continue assisting Vietnam in its ongoing renewal and expressed his confidence on bright prospects of the two countries’ future cooperation.

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