It is expected that the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be signed by the end of this year, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Vuong Thua Phong.
Ambassador Phong mentioned the expectation in a speech at a ceremony held by the Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium and Luxembourg on Sunday to celebrate 70 years of Vietnam’s August Revolution (August 19) and National Day (September 2), the Vietnam News Agency reported.
On August 4, Vietnam and the EU announced the completion of the FTA, which is expected to be inked before the end of 2015, which marks the 25th year of their bilateral diplomatic ties, the ambassador said.
The FTA will serve as an important milestone in the Vietnam-EU cooperation and help promote bilateral trade and further expand their export markets, he added.
Vietnam is one of the important partners of Belgium in Asia, Ambassador Phong said, adding that the Joint Committee on Vietnam-Belgium Development Cooperation will meet in Brussels in November to set out orientations for bilateral coordination in the post-2015 period.
Speaking of the Vietnamese communities in Belgium and Luxembourg, Ambassador Phong highly appreciated their contributions to the host countries as well as to the building and protection of Vietnam.
The Vietnamese community in Belgium has expressed interest in and support for the Southeast Asian country regarding the East Vietnam Sea issue, he added.
In the context of the current immigration crisis in Europe, the Vietnamese community in Belgium has proven itself to be an earnest residential community that causes no adverse effects on the host nation and other European countries, the ambassador said.
At the ceremony, the diplomat also highlighted the significance of the August 1945 Revolution that turned Vietnam into an independent and democratic country shown on the global map on September 2, 1945, when then-President Ho Chi Minh announced the Declaration of Independence to give birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
After 70 years of construction and development, the country has made great achievements in various fields, including social and economic development, diplomacy, culture and others.
Vietnam’s GDP grew 5.98 percent in 2014 to reach US$187 billion, compared to only $20.8 billion in 1995.
Last year also saw the country attract foreign investment worth more than $20 billion.