Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Vu Quang Anh speaks at the ceremony marking the 73rd National Day on September 6 (Photo: VNA)

Brussels (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Vu Quang Anh hosted a ceremony to mark the 73rd Vietnamese National Day in Brussels on September 6.

The event saw Belgian President of the Chamber of Representatives Siegfried Bracke, Deputy Foreign Minister Dirk Achten, foreign diplomatic corps, and many Vietnamese people living in Belgium.

The ambassador briefed his guests on Vietnam’s development and international integration over the past years and spoke highly of the Vietnam-Belgium relations, which have enjoyed strong growth in recent years. This year, the two countries are celebrating the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, he said.

Ambassador Anh, also head of the Vietnamese Mission to the European Union, moved on to highlight the ties between Vietnam and the EU, adding that strengthening the comprehensive partnership with the Union has been a key pillar in Vietnam’s foreign policy and that the country treasures its sound relations with the EU and its member states.

The EU is Vietnam’s second largest trade partner with the bilateral trade reaching 47.6 billion EUR last year – a figure which is expect to rise to more than 50 billion EUR in 2018. The EU is also the fifth biggest investor of Vietnam, injecting more than 44 billion EUR into the country, with the two sides finalising negotiations on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), he said.

Deputy FM Dirk Achten, for his part, said he hopes Vietnam and Belgium will ink a deal on strategic partnership in agriculture this year or early next year at the latest. The deal will include cooperation in agricultural technology development, food safety, food processing, and climate change response.

Achten affirmed that Belgium backs Vietnam in the signing of the EVFTA and was delighted at the enhanced collaboration in education and science between the two countries. He also looked forward to Vietnam and Belgium fostering multilateral activities together in the United Nations meetings.

Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Van Khoa (centre) and Bangladeshi officials at the ceremony marking the 73rd National Day of Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

The Embassy of Vietnam in Bangladesh has also held a special event to celebrate the Vietnamese National Day and the 45th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations in Dhaka. It was attended by Bangladeshi Minister of Commerce Tofail Ahmed, Minister of Social Welfare and Chairman of the Workers Party Rashed Khan Menon, and others.

Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Van Khoa gave his guests an overview of Vietnam’s recent socio-economic development and the steps made by the two countries, while Minister of Commerce Tofail Ahmed called on the business societies of the two sides to bolster partnership and expand trade and investment.

At the event, performers from Vietnam brought the practices of the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms worship to the Bangladeshi audience for the first time.

The worship is based on an ancient system of beliefs in the incarnation of various deities channeled through mediums, and believed to provide good health and prosperity. The ceremony showcased rites and art performances honouring the unique values of the Mother Goddesses’ cultural and historical tradition.

It was officially recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016. –VNA