PM begins tour to Netherlands, deepening bilateral relations

09:58 | 10/07/2017 Cooperation

On July 8 (local time), Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, his spouse, and a high-ranking delegation of Vietnamese officials arrived in Amsterdam capital, beginning their visit to the Netherlands at the invitation of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

pm begins tour to netherlands deepening bilateral relations
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse arrive in Schiphol Amsterdam airport, on July 8 (local time) - Photo: VGP

The PM and high-ranking delegation of Vietnamese officials were welcomed by Dutch officials at the airport. The three-day visit aims to reinforce the strategic bilateral partnership on climate change adaptation, water management, sustainable agriculture and food security.

During his visit, PM Phuc is expected to meet with the Dutch PM, leaders of the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and attend Viet Nam-Netherlands Business Forum.

Vietnam and the Netherlands first established diplomatic ties on September 4, 1973. Since the end of the 20th century, the bilateral friendship and cooperation have been developed and deepened across all fields. The mutual trust and understanding have also been strengthened through the regular exchange of high-level delegations and cooperative mechanisms. The most recent visits were made by Vietnam’s former Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who attended the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in March 2014, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visit to Vietnam in June the same year.

The Netherlands consider Vietnam as a priority partnership as policies on boosting cooperation with Vietnam have received support and consensus from Dutch politicians, as well as the business community.

pm begins tour to netherlands deepening bilateral relations
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Spouse welcomed by Dutch officials in Amsterdam capital on July 8 - Photo: VGP

At present, Vietnam-Netherlands relations have set a model for the dynamic and effective cooperation between a Southeast Asian country and a European nation. The two sides have defined climate change adaptation, water management, agriculture, energy, sea-based economy, and logistics services, as prioritised cooperative fields.

In October 2010, the two countries established a strategic partnership on climate change adaptation and water management. Later in June 2014, they also signed a strategic partnership agreement on sustainable agriculture and food security.

At regional and international organisations and forums, the two sides have also positively cooperated particularly under the framework of the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)–European Union (EU).

Over the past years, the bilateral trade has continuously increased in recent years with Vietnam recording a trade surplus. Since 2002, Vietnam’s exports to the Netherlands have enjoyed an annual increase of 15% and the Netherlands is now one of the biggest export markets of Vietnam in Europe.

In 2016, two-way trade reached US$ 6.68 billion, making the Netherlands the second largest trade partner of Vietnam in the Europe, behind only Germany. In the first five months of 2017, two-way trade hit US$2.9 billion.

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

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

Bilateral cooperation in education and training, security and defence, transport, and maritime activities, have also seen dynamic progresses. Since August 2002, the Netherlands has put Vietnam on the list of countries receiving special status in tertiary education training co-operation. The European country has also provided scholarships for Vietnamese students every year.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the Netherlands has shown a positive stance on such issues as food security, peace and development in the region, calling on the relevant parties to remain calm and resolve all disputes by peaceful and cooperative measures, in accordance with international laws, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS). The Netherlands has also highly values Vietnam’s role in addressing the East Sea issue and the country’s contributions to peace and security in the region.

Vietnamese and Dutch localities have maintained active cooperation. Nearly 25,000 Vietnamese are living in the Netherlands, always holding the motherland close to their hearts and in their minds.

This visit to the Netherlands of Vietnamese officials, is part of activities to carry out Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralism, diversification and international integration. It is also an occasion to deepen the Vietnam- Netherlands strategic partnership on climate change adaptation, water management, sustainable agriculture and food security, while raising Vietnam’s prestige and position within the international arena.

Tuan Vu