Trade spearheads Vietnam-Netherlands ties

08:34 | 29/03/2018 MUTRAP Corner

(VEN) - Cooperation programs between Vietnam and the Netherlands in 2018 to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations are expected to contribute significantly to boosting bilateral cooperation in a wide range of fields, especially trade. 

trade spearheads vietnam netherlands ties
The ceremony launching the logo of the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Netherlands diplomatic ties

The first activity to celebrate this significant event was the early February visit to Vietnam by Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag and a delegation of 45 businesses. Vietnam was the first country Minister Sigrid Kaag visited after she took up office - reflecting the Dutch government’s appreciation of relations with Vietnam.

Minister Sigrid Kaag said the Dutch government wants to promote sustainable and comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam, especially in trade and investment, and she is willing to support Dutch business contributions to this process. President of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, Hans de Boer, said though a small country that ranks 20th among global economies, the Dutch economy is efficient and creative with a high business spirit. “We hope the Netherlands will offer a gateway for Vietnamese businesses to access the European market via the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport,” he added.

The Dutch business delegation accompanying Minister Kaag expressed interest in cooperation opportunities in the fields of water management, agriculture, shipping, aviation, logistics, energy and smart city development. At a workshop held in Hanoi during the visit to connect Dutch businesses with potential Vietnamese partners, Luc Lampaert, Sales Director of Scania, said apart from trucks and buses, the company has also introduced specialized financing, insurance and rental services to enable Vietnamese customers to focus on their core business. The world leader in transportation solutions is also a leading supplier of industrial and marine engines. The company currently has 46,000 employees in about 100 countries.

According to Luc Lampaert, Scania is seeking to sell environment-friendly products in Vietnam and to invest in human resources through technology transfer.

During her visit, Minister Kaag inspected the Saigon River area to learn about the challenges facing Vietnam in managing water resources. Dutch businesses and research institutes in the field of water management were introduced to relevant Vietnamese organizations during the inspection tour.

Vietnam and the Netherlands have signed strategic partnership agreements in the fields of agriculture, water management and climate change. Currently, the Netherlands is Vietnam’s largest trading partner in Europe and the number-one European investor in Vietnam.

trade spearheads vietnam netherlands ties
A meeting held to connect Vietnamese and Dutch businesses

The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1973 and have since made great efforts to develop their partnership. The Dutch government has assisted Vietnam in nature conservation, water management, healthcare, sanitation, capacity enhancement for women, and improving working conditions in the textile and garment sector. Since Vietnam became a middle-income country in 2010, bilateral relations have entered a new period, enabling Vietnam and the Netherlands to deepen their fair trade partnership.

In 2017, Vietnam and the Netherlands prioritized cooperation in climate change adaptation, water management, agriculture, energy, marine economy, and transportation and logistics services. Bilateral trade reached US$7.77 billion in 2017, up 16.2 percent compared with 2016. The Netherlands remains Vietnam’s largest export market in the EU and stands among the top European investors in Vietnam, ranking 11th among 119 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 287 projects totally valued at US$7.7 billion.

During her visit to Vietnam, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son presided over a ceremony launching celebrations of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Nguyen Huong