Belgian Crown Prince Philippe, accompanied by executives from 200 businesses, arrived in Vietnam on March 11 for a visit that will last till March 16 to promote trade and economic linkages between the two countries.

The Belgium businesses are engaged in a wide range of fields, including water and waste management, transport, port, logistics, space technology and agriculture.

The Belgian firms, especially export ones, are interested in middle-income developing markets like Vietnam, Benoit Cerexhe, Brussels’ Minister of Economy, said at a press conference in Hanoi on Mar. 11.

At present, import-export turnover between businesses of Belgium and Vietnam in general and between the Brussels region and Vietnam in particular remains modest, he said, expressing hope that the two countries’ trade would grow robustly following the visit.

In 2011, two-way trade between Vietnam and Belgium reached about 1 billion USD. Belgium has poured about 108 million USD in foreign direct investment in Vietnam to date and its businesspeople are very keen on increasing their operations here.

Kris Peeters, Flanders’ Minister of Economy, said the visit will help Belgian firms share experience with Vietnamese partners in various fields, focusing on transport development, logistics and ports, water and waste water treatment, food and agricultural technology and aquaculture and health services.

During the visit, the Belgian businesspeople are expected to take part in workshops, make fact-finding tours to some Vietnamese localities and sign 13 memoranda of understanding with Vietnamese partners.-VNA