Belgian parliamentary delegation visits VN
07:23 | 08/03/2019
VGP - A delegation of the Belgian Federal Parliament – Inter-Parliamentary Union section (IPU) is now on an official visit to several Vietnamese cities from 7th to 11th March 2019.

Georges Dallemagne, Member of the House of Representatives, President of the Viet Nam Section of the Belgian Group of the IPU meets with Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Uong Chu Luu (R) in Ha Noi on March 7, 2019.

The delegation is led by Mr. Georges Dallemagne, Member of the House of Representatives, President of the Viet Nam Section of the Belgian Group of the IPU.

The visit aims to strengthen the cooperation between the Vietnamese and Belgian Representatives through exchanges of experience.

In Ha Noi, the delegation had a courtesy call with Mr. Uong Chu Luu, Vice-Chairman of National Assembly of Viet Nam, and a meeting with Mr. Bui Sy Loi, President of the Viet Nam-Belgium Friendship Parliamentary Group.

The delegation will focus on the environmental challenges of Viet Nam and the impact of climate change in the Mekong Delta region, where both Belgium and Viet Nam have been actively cooperated to find solutions to the climate change problems through academic cooperation, cooperation with NGOs, sustainable resources management, etc.

In Can Tho, the delegation will visit Can Tho University (CTU), a long-time academic partner of Belgium, especially in the fields of aquaculture and fisheries. Since 1997, a budget of around 8 million EUR has been allocated to various programs.

Some highlighted projects are: the Network Bioscience for Food to support food security and agricultural development in Viet Nam (2.5 million EUR), cultivation system to improve soil fertility for sustainable rice production emitting less greenhouse gas (300,000 EUR); as well as the development of sustainable fish feed and bio-products that help species adapt better to the changing environment due to climate change (1.8 million EUR).

Overall, this university cooperation has strengthened the academic capacity of CTU staff, contributing highly qualified human resources to the sustainable economic development of the Mekong Delta region and to the adaptation of Vietnamese aquaculture and fisheries to climate change.

The delegation will visit and talk to farmers of Thang Loi cooperative in Dong Thap province, supported by Rikolto International – a Belgian NGO - about their transition to high-quality, safe and sustainable rice production. Rikolto strives for better and more sustainable agricultural practices.

The organization also acts as a facilitator between farmer organizations and rice companies/supermarkets to improve farmers’ access to markets and ensure a sustainable rice value chains.

In sustainable resources management, the Belgian government has funded a project on sustainable management of water resources in the Mekong River Delta. This initiative was executed in collaboration with the People’s Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

It helped build water storage systems with sustainable design and materials for low-income households in Vinh Long and Ben Tre provinces. It focused on the roles of communities, civil society organizations, and local offices in water resource governance in relation to climate change.

From being long-standing partners in development cooperation, Belgium and Viet Nam have been maturing bilateral ties in different sectors. The trade volume between the two countries reached EUR 2.64 billion in 2017.

Both countries have always been important agricultural partners, especially in their effort in responding to the impacts of climate change in the Mekong Delta region. Significantly, Belgium and Viet Nam signed a partnership on climate smart agriculture during Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Belgium in October 2018./.

By Ngoc Van

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