Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met separately with the Belgian Prime Minister and the Chinese Permanent Deputy Premier, discussing in Davos on Jan.29 on the sidelines of the annual conference of the World Economic Forum.

At the meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, the two PMs expressed their pleasure at the development of bilateral cooperation, which, they said, benefited both sides.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Belgium reached 1.1 billion USD in 2009 in comparison with 1.3 billion USD in the previous year, despite the global economic crisis.

However, they said, investment has not matched the two countries’ potential.

The two PMs agreed that based on good cooperation, the two countries will work together to ensure the success of the eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 8) Summit in October in the context that Vietnam is the ASEAN Chair and Belgium assumes the EU Presidency for the six remaining months of this year.

PM Dung thanked Belgium for giving priority to Vietnam, the sole Asian nation to receive its development aid. He highly praised the effectiveness of Belgian-funded projects in Vietnam, saying they meet the country’s demand for development.

PM Dung said he would like the two countries to negotiate the signing of a cooperation programme for the post-2010 period soon, on the occasion of the sixth Vietnam-Belgium joint committee for development cooperation taking place later this year.

The two countries also reviewed areas of operation in order to set up an inter-governmental committee, bring bilateral ties to a new height, particularly in economics, trade and investment.

Speaking highly of Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements and poverty reduction, PM Yves Leterme affirmed the Belgian government’s continuation to cooperate with and support Vietnam in its Doi Moi (renewal) process and help expand relations with the EU and its member countries.

The Belgian PM said that the government continues facilitating its businesses to increase trade, investment and development aid to Vietnam.

PM Dung said he looks forward to receiving positive support from his Belgian counterpart Yves Leterme, in his capacity as EU President, to accelerate the signing of the framework on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between Vietnam and the EU, which would help deepen bilateral ties between Vietnam and Belgium – an EU member.

Earlier, PM Dung met Chinese Permanent Deputy Premier Li Keqiang, discussing measures to develop the Vietnam-China comprehensive cooperative strategic partnership.

The two sides agreed to continue joining hands in celebrating the Vietnam-China Friendship Year in 2010, enhancing high-level contacts, promoting exchange programmes between ministries and localities, and people-to-people exchanges, including the youth.

They agreed to sign a planning document on five years of economic and trade development between the two countries soon, bolster cooperation in investment in infrastructure construction, particularly projects under the “two corridors, one belt” plan, and strive to reach the goal of 25 billion USD in two-way trade by 2010.

The two PMs expressed their belief that maritime issues will be gradually resolved in line with the two countries’ friendship and international law, meeting legitimate aspirations and benefits of both peoples for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region./.