09:12 | 10/07/2015 Cooperation
(VEN) - The Netherlands is home to some 16.8 million people with a territorial area of 42,000sq.km. Together with economic potential, the Netherlands has become Vietnam’s biggest investor and second largest import market after the UK in the EU.
FrieslandCampina, a Dutch dairy has won Vietnamese consumer trust
The establishment of Dutch-Vietnamese diplomatic relations on April 9, 1973 was among some of the earliest in Western Europe. After establishing diplomatic links, the Netherlands has provided official development assistance (ODA) capital for Vietnam in health, education and training. The Netherlands added Vietnam to its list of ODA receiving countries with an increase in grants from €25-27 million a year in the 2000-2005 period to €36 million a year during the 2006-2008 period, €30.49 million in 2009 and €31.65 million in 2010. They have recently ranked Vietnam as a middle income country and changed their grant policy towards a more equal partnership.
The Netherlands sees Vietnam as one of the five countries most strongly affected by climate change since 2008. Therefore, they have paid special attention to promoting cooperation in climate change mitigation and water resource management. Addressing a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in 2010, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Dutch counterpart Jan Balkenende signed an agreement on the strategic partnership in climate change mitigation and water resource management, marking the most important cooperation areas between the two countries in the coming period.
The Netherlands had 233 investment projects in Vietnam with total capital of about US$6.63 billion by the end of February 2015, ranking first among the EU countries and 11th among the countries and territories investing in Vietnam focusing on gas and oil exploration and exploitation, lubricant production, water supply and food processing. Many Dutch projects in Vietnam such as Heineken beer, Unilever detergents, cosmetics and Walls ice-cream, Royal Dutch Shell, Foremost dairy, Akzo Nobel Coating chemicals, Philips, ED&F Man Vietnam, Peja Viet Nam and P&O Nedlloyd have proved their effectiveness. In addition, many well-known Dutch corporations have also opened their offices in Vietnam to promote trade and investment.
Dutch-Vietnamese trade relations have seen good annual growth. Trade turnover between the two countries reached US$1.218 billion in 2006, including US$857 million in Vietnamese export turnover and US$361 million in Vietnamese import turnover. This figure increased strongly to US$2.216 billion in 2010 and US$4.321 billion in 2014. The Netherlands mainly imports computers and electronic products, telephones and accessories, footwear, textiles and garments from Vietnam.
A large part of Vietnamese goods are exported from the Netherlands to other countries. Therefore, if Vietnamese goods ensure high quality and attract Dutch partners, it will have opportunities to be available in numerous other markets. After the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is signed, opportunities for Vietnamese export businesses will be expanded.
Bui Duc Khiem