Flemish Prime Minister Geert Bourgeois is currently heading a week-long trade mission to Vietnam, along with representatives of more than 50 Flemish companies.
The aim of the mission, organised by Flanders Investment & Trade, is to find a new market for Flemish products like fruit, vegetables and frozen chips, and includes visits to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
At present around 40 per cent of Vietnam’s frozen chips, around 3,000 tonnes a year worth over €2m, are sourced from Belgium. Belgian pears gained access to the market last year.
“Vietnam is an emerging market in Asia, which is why there is such a large delegation from the agricultural and food industries,” Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board stated in a press release.
The country’s growing middle class is leading to rising demand for high-quality food products. Last year, Vietnam saw economic growth of over 6 per cent, with forecasts from PricewaterhouseCoopers predicting the country of 90m will be among the top 20 economies in the world by 2050.
The delegation also includes representatives from the maritime sector who are cooperating on a seminar on flood control and water transport, which Bourgeois described as “a real challenge for the entire Mekong region”, according to Flanders Today.
“This is an area where we can offer Flemish expertise,” he said, “both from the government’s mobility department, as well as from some of our companies on this visit.”