Belgium - Vietnam's fourth largest trade partner in EU
Belgium is a bridge between Vietnamese and European businesses and is a potential market for Vietnamese products, said Belgian ambassador to Vietnam, Hubert Cooreman.
Currently, Belgium is Vietnam's fourth largest trade partner in the EU, he noted.
The general Department of Vietnam Customs recently announced that Vietnam's exports to Belgium have grown rapidly in the past decade from $391.368 million in 2003 to $687.488 million in 2006 and $848.838 million in 2010. Vietnam's imports from this country have also increased from $167.789 million in 2003 to $320.151 million in 2010.
Last year Vietnam mainly exported stone and precious metals, confectionary, cereals, coffee, rubber, plastics, tea, electric wire and cables, rice, wood and timber products, footwear, fruit and vegetables, seafood, cashew nuts, pepper, handicrafts, computers, electronics, garment, ceramics, machinery, and equipment. It imported precious stone, cotton, equipment, raw plastics, pharmaceuticals, paper, automobile components and motorbike spare parts, fertiliser, milk, chemicals, steel, animal food, pesticides, means of transport and machinery.
Although Vietnam and Belgium signed an agreement on investment protection and encouragement in 1991 Belgium's investment in Vietnam has remained modest. By the end of 2010 the country had 38 projects in Vietnam with a total registered capitalisation of $76.03 million, ranking 41st among 92 foreign investors in Vietnam.
Vietnam has only two projects worth $242,000 in Belgium.
The two governments have recently signed an agreement to lift economic and trade cooperation to a new height. The inter-governmental committee held its first meeting in Hanoi on June 21 to discuss plans for future cooperation.
Ambassador Cooreman affirmed that the Belgian government is committed to boosting cooperation with Vietnam and doubling ODA for Vietnam in the coming years.
A representative from the Belgian government said that Belgian businesses will continue to invest in Vietnam's infrastructure construction, economic development, education and training. Currently, nearly 90 representative offices, company branches and joint-ventures businesses are operating in Vietnam.
Radio Voice Of Vietnam - June 28, 2011