Vietnam, as the rotating Chair of the ASEAN Brussels Committee (ABC) in the last six months of the year, hosted the first ABC session in Belgium on July 26 with the participation of ambassadors of ASEAN member countries in Brussels .

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium , Luxembourg and the European Community Pham Sanh Chau said that as ABC Chair, Vietnam wishes to boost activities and dialogues with leaders of the EU and Belgian institutions, thus promoting the image of ASEAN, further strengthening and expanding the ASEAN-EU cooperation in various fields.

The participants exchanged the results of ASEAN’s recent important events, including the 44 th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM 44), the expanded ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and the 18 th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF 18), then putting forth measures to jointly implement those results in Brussels .

They also highly valued a recent agreement between ASEAN and China on guidelines for the implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), saying that it is the first progress towards a binding code of conduct, contributing to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea .

Also at the session, the countries shared experiences in negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs) with the EU and agreed on several activities to be carried out by the ABC in the coming time.

In the last six months of 2011, the Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium will organise other ABC activities such as dialogues with leaders of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Committee (EC), the European Parliament (EP) and relevant Belgian agencies as well as tours of localities to promote the image of ASEAN and boost economic ties with the host country.

According to Ambassador Chau, the successful assumption of the ABC Chair will help promote Vietnam’s active and proactive role in ASEAN, and expand the cooperation between Vietnam and the EU and Belgium in many fields, including economics, politics, culture and education./.