Photo: Quynh Nguyen
Dutch Deputy Minister of Agriculture speaks highly of cooperation to date during visit to Vietnam on March 22 and 23.
Vietnam plays an important role in global food security as it has made progress in food security and increased production for international markets, Ms. Marjolijn Sonnema, the Netherland’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, said during her visit to Vietnam on March 22 and 23.
Vietnam is seeing strong economic growth, she went on, but climate change is also putting major pressure on the country’s agriculture sector.
Vietnam and the Netherlands signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement in sustainable agriculture and food security in 2014. The partnership underlines the strong bilateral relations between the two countries that aim to develop a mutually beneficial and true partnership.
“Vietnam and the Netherlands are natural partners,” Ms. Sonnema said. “Both are world-class players in the export of agricultural products. Both are coastal states in strategic locations. And as delta countries, we both face the challenge of climate change, especially in the area of agriculture water management.”
High-tech agriculture is also a development focus for Vietnam in maintaining food security in the years to come and the Netherlands will closely cooperate with the Vietnamese Government to improve the country’s agriculture sector, Ms. Sonnema emphasized. “The Netherlands has expertise, technology, and transferable skills that can serve as a catalyst for sustainable agricultural production in a middle-income country like Vietnam,” she said.
She also revealed that in September this year, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong will visit the Netherlands for a more in-depth exchange of agricultural strategic cooperation, to further promote food security cooperation.
During her visit, Ms. Sonnema was accompanied by a business delegation that was a mix of companies that are new to Vietnam and those that have prior experience of doing business in the country. Most have concrete business plans and invested time and money to be part of the visit.
The visit took place on the occasion of ASEAN+6 regional Food Security Conference, entitled “Let’s Get to Work - Building a Food Secure Future”. The conference was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development together with the Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The conference was a direct result of close cooperation in the area of sustainable agriculture and food security, focusing on reducing food waste and food losses in order to find new solutions for meeting Sustainable Development Goals.
Numerous deals and agreements were made after the event, enhancing economic ties between the two countries with a view to sharing the vision of a sustainable future where economies thrive and the environment is fully maintained. Vietnam and the Netherlands will continue to boost their food security cooperation in the future.
Important signings between Vietnam and the Netherlands:
- Signing of food security deals during the Food Security Conference. As a concrete outcome, Vietnam and the Netherlands have started two projects in the development of Sustainable Aquaculture Competition and a Post-Harvest Network in Vietnam.
- Signing ceremony between Agriterra, a Dutch development organization, and the Vietnam Cooperation Association on the development of agricultural cooperation in Vietnam.
- Signing of an MoU between De Heus and the Minh Phu Corp. on strategic cooperation for the development of organic shrimp feeding, farming, and processing in Vietnam.
- Signing of an MoU between the Control Union and the Institute of Organic Agricultural Economics for cooperating on introducing and certifying international standards to develop the agricultural value chain in Vietnam.
- Signing of an MoU between FabMax, TU Delft, and Saigon High Tech Park Labs for cooperation in preparing and supporting the engineering team at SHTP Labs in the development of their plans for the production and selling of FET power devices in Vietnam.