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Vietnam Today

PM begins official visit to the Netherlands

Released at: 18:41, 10/07/2017

PM begins official visit to the Netherlands

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (3rd from right) works with leaders of the European Association for Behavior Analysis. Photo: VGP

Prime Minister meets with senior Dutch leaders and will attend "Towards a Sustainable Future" business forum during July 9 to 11 visit.

by Quynh Nguyen

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has begun his official visit to the Netherlands from July 9 to 11 and will attend the “Towards a Sustainable Future” business forum with more than 250 enterprises, both Dutch and Vietnamese, on the second day of his visit.

He will also sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Netherlands and the World Bank on food safety and a letter of intent on transformative projects in the water/agri nexus.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung and Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen will also sign an MoU on DRIVE, an instrument to facilitate investment in public infrastructure.

A recent report from the World Bank on food safety in Vietnam had 21 recommendations and the Netherlands will support the implementation of the recommendations through independent food researcher WUR/RIKILT. The MoU will be signed by both Prime Ministers and the Director of the World Bank in Vietnam, Mr. Ousmane Dione.

The Mekong Delta Plan, inspired by Dutch experience, has given a new direction for the sustainable development of the Delta, one of the areas in the world most under threat from climate change. The letter of intent provides support in identifying large-scale projects across provincial boundaries that strike the right balance between development, sustainability, and climate resilience.

PM Phuc will be welcomed by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. Mark Rutte, during a working dinner in Catshuis, the official residence of the Dutch PM, where they will discuss trade and investment relations between the two countries and focus on cooperation in water, agriculture, and climate change. Minister Ploumen, Minister for the Environment Sharon Dijksma, and Minister for Agriculture Martijn van Dam will also be in attendance.

On his first day in the Netherlands, the PM witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements between the two governments and businesses from both countries.

The PM also met with the Austrian Chairman of the Management Board at Vamed Ernst Wastler and leaders of the European Association for Behavior Analysis (EABA) and the Dutch Business Association Viet Nam (DBAV), according to the Vietnam Government Portal.

At the meeting with the Vamed Chairman, PM Phuc expressed his gratitude for its support to Vietnam’s public health system over the past 20 years, especially the effective disbursement of preferential official development assistance (ODA) loans from the Austrian Government to realize Vietnam’s sustainable development goals.

During his working session with leaders from the EABA, the PM highly praised its role in connecting the two sides’ businesses, especially in consulting and helping European enterprises conduct investments in Southeast Asia.

The economic cooperation between Vietnam and the EU and the Netherlands is huge, he asserted.

The Vietnamese Government creates favorable conditions for EU businesses to invest in the country in areas such as infrastructure, support industries, high technology, climate adaptation, renewable energy, and the environment.

He proposed the EABA encourage more enterprises from the EU to enhance investment in Vietnam and gain access to the Asia-Pacific region when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into effect.

Leaders at EABA announced that the association is connecting with more corporations in finance, logistics, agriculture, petroleum, and health for further cooperation with Vietnam. 

At the reception for leaders of the DBAV, PM Phuc said he valued the active contribution from the association in supporting the two country’s businesses, thus enhancing bilateral trade and investment.

He suggested DBAV and the Dutch business community promote the signing and realization of the EVFTA, facilitate more Dutch enterprises in trade, investment and tourism with Vietnam, and organize more business delegations to Vietnam to seek further cooperation.

The Vietnamese Government focusing on creating the necessary conditions and a fair playing field for domestic and foreign investors, including those from the Netherlands.

Leaders of the association committed to coordinating with Dutch businesses to take advantage of opportunities brought about by the EVFTA and to uphold its role in connecting enterprises from the two sides.

PM Phuc’s visit takes place at a time when Vietnam and the Netherlands are enjoying comprehensive development in their relations, setting an example in dynamic and effective cooperation.

According to the Vietnam News Agency, bilateral trade has continually increased in recent years, with Vietnam recording a trade surplus, and the Netherlands is now one of its biggest export markets in Europe.

Two-way trade hit $2.9 billion in the first five months of this year. Vietnam mainly exported seafood, fruit and vegetables, cashew nuts, coffee, peppercorn, rice, chemical products, and plastics, while importing machinery, equipment, automobile spare parts, dairy products, and pharmaceutical products.

The Netherlands is among the largest European investors in Vietnam, ranking 11th out of the 119 countries and territories investing in the country, with 287 projects worth $7.7 billion.

After establishing diplomatic ties with Vietnam in 1973, the Netherlands began providing non-refundable ODA to the country, mainly in humanitarian activities, education and training, and healthcare.

In January 2014, the Netherlands shifted its relations with Vietnam to a “trade partnership”, with a focus on promoting bilateral trade and investment.

In 2010, the two sides established a strategic partnership on climate change adaptation and water management. In 2014, they signed a strategic partnership agreement on sustainable agriculture and food security.

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