During their talks in Hanoi on April 9, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, who was on a one-day visit to Vietnam, agreed to upgrade ties to the comprehensive partnership level, according to a report from the Vietnam News Agency.

The Prime Minister assured the Dutch Prime Minister that Vietnam values the strengthening of ties with the Netherlands, one of Vietnam’s most important EU partners.

Prime Minister Rutte said he has been impressed by Vietnam’s socioeconomic achievements over the past five years. He spoke highly of Vietnam’s improving stature on the regional and global stage with the successful hosting of major international events, including the second DPRK-US Summit.

He affirmed that the Dutch Government and business community want to continue bolstering all-round ties with Vietnam, evidenced by the presence of over 70 leading Dutch firms during his visit.

The Netherlands is currently Vietnam’s second-largest European trade partner, with two-way trade at $7.8 billion in 2018, and its largest European investor, with total registered capital of $9.55 billion.

Both leaders pledged to create favorable conditions for the two countries’ enterprises to enhance joint work in the priority fields of agriculture, marine-based economy, circular economy, and smart city development.

They agreed on the importance of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), which meet the interests of all parties concerned.

Prime Minister Rutte expressed his support for the early signing and ratification of the two deals, which would contribute to promoting trade in each market and global trade liberalization between Vietnam and EU member states, including Dutch companies.

Both Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction with the bilateral strategic partnership in climate change adaptation and water management, as well as partnerships in sustainable agriculture and food security with the launch of specific projects, considering them a focus of bilateral collaboration in the near future.

The two also discussed the importance of the maintenance of peace, stability, security, navigation, and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea and asserted the principle of law abidance and their stance on supporting the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Following the talks, the two leaders signed a memorandum of understanding on agriculture cooperation in the Mekong Delta between the two governments and witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement on mutual administrative support in customs and other bilateral deals.

A joint statement was issued on the outcomes of the official visit by the Dutch Prime Minister.

During his stay in Vietnam, he met with Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

In the evening on the same day, he attended a sustainable fashion show co-organized by the Hanoi People’s Committee and the Dutch Embassy at Ly Thai To Park before flying home, concluding his visit.