President Tran Dai Quang shakes hands with outgoing Belgian ambassador Jehanne Roccas (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang on July 26 hosted a reception for the Ambassador of Belgium Jehanne Roccas who is due to finish her mission in Vietnam.

Quang spoke highly of Roccas’ contributions to fostering the Vietnam-Belgium cooperation and mutual understanding, particularly in events celebrating the 45th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations earlier this year.

Vietnam attaches great importance to deepening its friendship with Belgium, President Quang said, adding that the two nations are now significant economic partners with bilateral trade relatively higher than that between Vietnam and any other European country.

Educational cooperation is one of the highlights of bilateral ties in politics, culture, and education which have made decent progress at all levels over the years, helping the two countries to promote the image of each other among their people, he said.

To further bolster relations in the time ahead, President Quang urged Belgium to push for the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which is scheduled to take place in Brussels this October. In addition, he suggested both sides to soon conclude a new framework for expanded cooperation in agriculture in an effort to ensure food security and adaption to climate change.

He also lauded the effective coordination between Vietnam and Belgium at international and multilateral forums, such as the United Nations, the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and ASEAN. He moved on to wish Belgium success in its hosting of the 12th ASEM Summit in October this year.

Ambassador Roccas, for her part, highlighted the positive results in the Vietnam-Belgium partnership in politics, economics, and development cooperation.

She said her country will continue supporting Vietnam in the coming time and that Belgium, along with some other European nations, are looking to set up a university in Vietnam. According to the Belgian diplomat, the Free University of Brussels has offered in-country postgraduate courses in Vietnam over the last 23 years, with more than 2,200 graduates, many of whom now hold senior positions at local governmental bodies.

Belgium treasures its ties with Vietnam, backing Vietnam in strengthening relations with the EU and the early signing of the EVFTA, she stressed. It also supports Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council and is ready to share with Vietnam experience in UN peacekeeping operations.–VNA