This is Grand Duke Henri’s first visit to Vietnam as the top leader of Luxembourg, demonstrating Luxembourg’s policy of attaching importance to its multi-faceted cooperation with Vietnam.
Since Vietnam and Luxemburg established diplomatic ties in 1973, the multi-faceted co-operation between the two countries has been continuously maintained and nurtured, producing positive results in politics, economics and trade, as well as at international forums such as the United Nations (UN) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
During Vietnam’s struggle against American imperialism, a commission led by Luxembourg’s Communist Party supported Vietnam.
Luxembourg also backed Vietnam’s candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2008-2009 term, and in turn, the country has asked Vietnam to support its bid for the post during the 2013-2014 term.
As of August 2011, Luxembourg had 20 projects in Vietnam, with a total capital of US$1.1 billion, ranking 21 out of 92 foreign investors operating in the country. The projects are primarily in the fields of construction, foodstuff processing, high-technology, information and communication.
Two-way trade turnover between the two countries has consistently increased, from an annual US$5 million in the past to US$19 million in 2009, US$26.4 million in 2010 and US$25 million in the first nine months of this year.
Vietnam exports wooden furniture and handicrafts to Luxembourg, while importing steel, iron, leather and cigarette materials from the European country.
Luxembourg began providing official development assistance to Vietnam in 1993 and became an official member of the Consultative Group of donors to Vietnam in 1998.
In 2009, the Luxembourg Development Co-operation Agency announced the “Luxembourg-Vietnam Development Co-operation Strategy”, which affirmed that Vietnam is a leading country in Asia and one of the ten key countries in the Luxembourg Government’s Development Co-operation Programme.
Before 2002, Luxemburg provided EUR5-6 million of non-refundable aid to Vietnam each year.
During Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s official visit to Luxembourg in 2002, the two sides signed a new Co-operation Framework Agreement and a Programme of Indicative Co-operation for the 2002-2005 period.
Accordingly, the European country pledged EUR35 million in aid to Vietnam in the 2002-2005 period, EUR50 million in the 2006-2010 period and EUR42 million in non-refundable aid for the 2011-2015 period, focusing on rural development, health care, education and training.
The official visit to Vietnam by Grand Duke Henri is an opportunity for the two sides to brief each other about their respective situations, exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, and discuss orientations and measures to enhance the multi-faceted co-operation between Vietnam and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
May Grand Duke Henri’s official visit be successful, contributing to peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the world.