NA Chairwoman: Vietnam wants to strengthen ties with Belgium, EP

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on Wednesday met with President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives Siegfried Bracke in Brussels.

At the meeting, Ms. Ngan briefed her host on Vietnam's current situation and urged for further Vietnam-Belgium cooperation in renewable energy like solar and wind power. Chairwoman Ngan said both sides should boost partnership in infrastructure, particularly in seaports, healthcare, agriculture, and education and training. She said she hopes the Belgian Federal Parliament will support the European Parliament's ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to bring practical benefits to Vietnam, Belgium, and the EU.

President Bracke said it is time to sign co-operation agreements, especially in agriculture, and Belgium will do its utmost to speed up the EVFTA signing at the next tenure of the European Parliament (EP).

Also on Wednesday in Brussels, Chairwoman Ngan met with Bernd Lange, Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade. She said Vietnam is focusing on realizing EVFTA commitments it made in the deal with good will and specific actions. She stressed that Vietnam's Labour Code has been amended in the spirit of protecting interests of workers, adding that the Vietnam National Assembly is scheduled to give opinions on the code revision at its May meeting. She said she hopes Mr. Lange will support prioritizing the EVFTA and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) between Vietnam and the EU in the EP's agenda at the beginning of the new tenure.

Mr. Lange told Ms. Ngan that he has made every effort to accelerate the signing and ratification of the EVFTA, and explained that the process has been delayed because the EU has to deal with other issues, like Brexit. The agreement might be signed and approved in June or July, after the EP completes its elections and begins a new term, he said.

Source: VOV5