08:36 | 08/05/2019 MUTRAP Corner
(VEN) - At the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte visited Vietnam from April 9 to 11. The visit was expected to contribute to strengthening relations between the two countries, provide an impetus for trade expansion and open new prospects for economic cooperation.
This was the second visit to Vietnam by Prime Minister Mark Rutte (the first was in 2014), and his third visit to Asia since taking office for a third tenure in October 2017. The visit was expected to contribute to boosting cooperation in new fields such as circular economy, agricultural cultivation and high technology. A number of cooperation agreements were signed during the visit.
In recent years, economic, trade and investment cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands has increased. Currently, the Netherlands is one of Vietnam’s largest export markets in Europe. Major Vietnamese exports to this market include seafood, fruit, vegetables, cashew nuts, coffee, pepper, rice, chemicals and plastics, while imports include food, animal feed, materials for animal feed production and chemicals.
In 2018, bilateral trade reached US$7.84 billion, double that of 2014. Vietnam has recorded a continuous surplus in trade with the Netherlands. Ministry of Industry and Trade data show that in the first two months of 2019, bilateral trade reached US$1.08 billion, including US$975.2 million worth of Vietnamese exports to the Netherlands and more than US$108 million worth of imports from this market.
The Netherlands is also the largest European investor in Vietnam. According to the Foreign Investment Agency of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, from January 1, 1988 to December 31, 2018, the Netherlands has ranked 10th among 129 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 318 ongoing projects worth over US$9.3 billion.
Most Dutch investment projects in Vietnam are small to medium in size. Major groups, such as Heineken, Unilever, Royal Dutch Shell, Foremost, Akzo Nobel Coating and Philips, also operate in Vietnam.
As a major investor in the Vietnamese agricultural sector, the Netherlands has helped Vietnam promote sustainable farming and increase the export value of fruit, vegetables, gardening, animal husbandry and aquaculture products.
Various events took place during Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s visit to Vietnam. These included the third Vietnam-
Netherlands civil aviation conference, meetings between businesses and government leaders; the signing of
cooperation agreements between Dutch companies and the Vietnamese government, and between businesses of the