14:56 (GMT +7) - Saturday 25/11/2017

Vietnam Today

Vietnam & the Netherlands boost food safety cooperation

Released at: 06:30, 12/11/2017

Vietnam & the Netherlands boost food safety cooperation

Photo: Quynh Nguyen

MoU signed on developing sustainable and safe agriculture and ensuring food security, with involvement from the World Bank.

by Quynh Nguyen

Vietnam has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on strategic cooperation in food safety management with the Netherlands and the World Bank, with the aim of developing sustainable and safe agriculture and ensuring food security.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ms. Pauline Eizema, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Vietnam, said that the purpose of the MoU is to delineate the preferred collaboration between Vietnam and the Netherlands in enhancing the food safety management system in Vietnam, with the close involvement of the World Bank Group.

The Netherlands will facilitate Vietnam in developing a sustainable agriculture and food sector. Vietnam is currently seeking to intensify its collaboration with the Netherlands and the World Bank in accessing and addressing food safety risks. This expanded cooperation was made official on July 10 during the visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the Netherlands.

An implementation plan based on recommendations from the World Bank will be formulated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Government of the Netherlands (through its Ministry of Economic Affairs), and the World Bank in Vietnam. The Vietnamese Steering Committee on Food Safety will take a leading role in kick-starting discussions on the implementation plan.

Food safety has been a concern in Vietnam over recent years. As at the end of June, the country had 73 cases of food poisoning with 1,592 victims. As many as 1,483 people were hospitalized and 16 died.

During the first six months of this year, the country set up more than 23,400 delegations of inspectors to check more than 443,100 enterprises and discovered more than 81,000 violations.

“To meet the goal of food security and food security, besides the country’s efforts, agriculture needs international support,” said Minster of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam. “The advanced management experience of development institutions will contribute gradually to improving the level of food safety in Vietnam.”

Vietnam and the Netherlands have close cooperative relations in agriculture. Water, agriculture, and climate change were the most important matters discussed during the official visit by Prime Minister Phuc to the country in July.

The two signed a strategic partnership agreement in sustainable agriculture and food security in 2014, involving Dutch help in responding to climate change, among other things.

The Netherlands is also among the largest European investors in Vietnam, ranking eleventh 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.

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