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Within the framework of the working visit to the European Union (EU) and Belgium by National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation, on September 8, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan had a meeting with the Belgian Federal Minister for Middle Classes, Freelancers, Small and Medium Enterprises and Agriculture, David Clarinval.

An overview of the meeting

Minister Le Minh Hoan emphasized that over the past 50 years, Vietnam-Belgium cooperation has been promoted in many fields, including agriculture, and highly appreciated Belgium’s close cooperation and support for the Vietnamese agricultural sector. 2018 marked an important milestone when the two countries became each other’s strategic agricultural partners. Therefore, Minister Le Minh Hoan proposed to focus on promoting this strategic cooperation on the basis of effectively exploiting the potential and advantages of both sides.

To further promote bilateral cooperation, Minister Le Minh Hoan suggested that the Belgian side create favorable conditions for the two countries’ agro-forestry-fishery products to penetrate into each other’s markets. Belgium is currently Vietnam’s fifth largest and most important agro-forestry-fishery trading partner in the EU. Agro-forestry-fishery products of the two countries are complementary and non-competitive.

Minister Le Minh Hoan hoped that Belgium would continue to support the development of waterway logistics and cold storage systems in the Mekong Delta with Belgian technology to connect into a transport network of fresh agricultural and seafood products of this area to Cai Mep port, to Antwep port of Belgium and other major ports in the world. In particular, Minister Le Minh Hoan proposed that Belgium support Vietnam in developing cocoa products so that this product can be exported to Belgium and associated with this country’s famous chocolate brand.