Chairman of the Vietnam-Belgium Friendship Association Pham Manh Hung speaks at the exchange in Hanoi on July 20 (Photo: baoquocte.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam-Belgium Friendship Association and the Belgian Embassy in Vietnam have held an exchange in Hanoi to mark the 187th National Day (July 21, 1831) of the European nation and 45 years of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (March 22, 1973).

The July 20 event saw the presence of Vuong Thua Phong – deputy head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Commission for Foreign Relations; Pham Sanh Chau – Assistant to the Foreign Minister, Special Representative of the Vietnamese Prime Minister on UNESCO Affairs and Secretary General of the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO; Pham Khac Son – Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations; and Deputy Head of Mission at the Belgian Embassy Anke Van Lancker.

Chairman of the Vietnam-Belgium Friendship Association Pham Manh Hung, who is also Deputy Minister of Education and Training, said since Prince Leopold I became the first king of Belgium 187 years ago, Belgium has swiftly become an industrialised nation with a developed economy and leading science-technology in the world. It currently ranks 21st in the Human Development Index and has won 10 Nobel prizes in different fields.

He wished the Belgian people to obtain more achievements to further contribute to the world’s development, prosperity and peace.

Hung added that this year, Vietnam and Belgium celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties, which is a significant milestone in bilateral friendship and cooperation.

Great strides have been seen in bilateral relations over the last four and a half decades, he said, elaborating that Vietnam has become an important Southeast Asian partner of Belgium in all spheres, from politics, economy, trade, culture and education-training to scientific research. 

The two sides have also coordinated closely at multilateral forums and international organisations like the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, the ASEAN-EU cooperation, and the International Organisation of La Francophonie.

Thousands of Vietnamese students, postgraduates and doctors have been receiving training in the European nation. Notably, more than 2,000 Vietnamese have finished the Solvay Vietnam Master programmes, the official said, describing the positive outcomes of educational partnership as a pride of bilateral relations.

At the exchange, Anke Van Lancker said the two countries’ friendship and cooperation have been marked with fruitful cooperation in multiple areas such as economy, development, research and especially education-training with over 2,000 Vietnamese used to study in Belgium and 2,000 others used to enroll in the Solvay Vietnam Master programmes.

She expressed her hope that the Vietnam-Belgium Friendship Association will continue to organise meaningful cultural exchanges to help promote people-to-people diplomacy and enhance the countries’ friendship.-VNA