This is the first visit to Vietnam by Grand Duke Henri in his position as the top leader of Luxembourg.
The visit manifests Luxembourg’s policy of attaching importance to the multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam, especially in economics, trade, investment, finance and development cooperation.
During the visit, leaders of the two countries are expected to exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual concern as well as global matters, including the economic and financial crisis, climate change and epidemics in order to strengthen the Vietnam-Luxembourg cooperation at international forums, especially at the UN and ASEM.
Vietnam and Luxembourg established diplomatic ties on Nov. 15, 1973.
Luxembourg backed Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2008-2009 term, and in turn, the country asked Vietnam to support its bid to run for the post for the 2013-2014 term. Luxembourg opened its development cooperation office in Hanoi.
As of August 2011, Luxembourg had invested in 20 projects in Vietnam, with a combined capital of US$1.1 billion, ranking 21 out of 92 foreign investors operating in Vietnam. These projects mainly focus on construction, foodstuff processing, information, communications and high-technology.
However, two-way trade turnover remains modest, reaching only $26.4 million in 2010 and exceeding $25 million in the first nine months of this year.
Vietnam mainly exports wooden furniture and handicrafts to Luxembourg, while importing steel, iron, leather and cigarette materials from the European country.
Luxembourg began to provide official development assistance to Vietnam in 1993 and became an official member of the Consultative Group of donors for Vietnam in 1998.
In March 1999, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency announced the “Luxembourg-Vietnam Development Cooperation Strategy”, which affirmed that Vietnam is a leading country in Asia and one of the ten key countries in the Luxembourg Government’s Development Cooperation Programme.
Vietnam and Luxembourg signed the Indicative Cooperation Programme for the 2011-2015 period in Hanoi on March 2, 2011. Luxembourg pledged to provide €42 million in non-refundable aid for Vietnam, focusing on rural development, health care, training on tourism, finance and banking.
The two countries have also witnessed new steps of development in cultural cooperation. The two sides jointly held the Vietnamese Culture Days in Luxembourg and an exhibition of Luxembourg paintings in Vietnam. They are planning to organize the Vietnamese Film Days in Luxembourg in the third quarter of 2012. VNA