It is also expected to help Vietnam effectively take advantage of important resources from the European Union and member countries for its post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and development.

The Government leader’s tour demonstrates Vietnam’s activeness in and responsible contributions to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as the international community, particularly in the context that the region and the world are facing unpredictable challenges and complicated developments.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh

The week-long trip is hoped to help intensify and consolidate Vietnam’s relations with Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium, especially as 2023 marks 50 years since Vietnam set up its diplomatic relations with the three countries.

This is the first time ASEAN and the E.U. have held a summit to celebrate 45 years of bilateral relations, with the participation of leaders of their member countries, since the establishment of the dialogue relations in 1977, and the strategic partnership in 2020.

The Vietnam - E.U. relationship has developed extensively over the past years. Vietnam is the first ASEAN country to have all frameworks for cooperation in politics, economics, defense and security with the union.

The E.U. is the third largest export market, the fifth largest import market and the sixth biggest investor to Vietnam. In terms of development aid, the union is one of Vietnam's largest non-refundable aid donors.

Over the past 50 years, Vietnam’s relations with the three above-mentioned European nations have developed well, through the maintenance of delegation exchanges and contacts, and the coordination and mutual support at international forums.

Luxembourg is the third largest E.U. investor in Vietnam with a total capital of 2.6 billion USD, and one of the first countries to ratify the E.U. - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

Luxembourg considers Vietnam as one of the priority countries in development assistance with total aid reaching 129 million EUR (135.6 million USD) so far. The two sides are currently discussing and promoting cooperation possibility in the fields of ecological agriculture and climate change response.

The Netherlands is Vietnam's second largest trade partner in Europe and the E.U.'s biggest investor in the Southeast Asian nation. Bilateral trade reached 8.37 billion USD in 2021, up nearly 10% year-on-year, and 8.2 billion USD in the first nine months of this year, up 36%. The country is running 380 projects in Vietnam, with a total capital of 13.5 billion USD.

Meanwhile, Belgium is Vietnam's sixth largest export market in Europe with two-way trade reaching 4.3 billion USD in 2021, up 54% compared to 2020.

PM Pham Minh Chinh’s will help Vietnam expand its collaboration in pharmaceutical technology and logistics with Luxembourg, circular economy and renewable energy with the Netherlands, and marine economy and ecological agriculture with Belgium.

Source: VNA