Belgium to provide additional loan for Vietnam's satellite project

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The Belgian government Monday announced that it will add three million Euros (US$3.9 million) to its preferential loan for a project to launch Vietnam's third satellite.

The latest adjustment was announced at a meeting between Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan and Prince Philippe of Belgium in Hanoi.

Previously Belgium had pledged to give Vietnam a loan of 63 million Euros ($83 million) at low interest for the country's third satellite. Produced by the Belgian-owned SpaceBel Group, the earth observation VNREDSat-1B satellite will be launched in 2016.

Also at the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the countries' representatives sign a protocol on the adjustments made to a double taxation avoiding agreement

A memorandum of understanding between the countries' ministries of finance, and another one on space technology cooperation between the ministries of technology and science were inked as well.

Vietnam and Belgium will continue cooperating in various projects from now until 2015 with priority given to education, water management, irrigation, and waste treatment, leaders agreed at the meeting.

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Doan thanked the Belgian government and people for their support, especially the recent decision to increase development assistance to the country from 35 to 60 million Euros ($46.1-79 million).

Prince Philippe was on an official visit to Vietnam between March 11 and 16, with Princess Mathilde, four ministers and a delegation of nearly 300 Belgian businesspeople.

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