PMs of Vietnam, Netherlands vow to deepen ties

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte reiterated their determination to deepen the relationship between Vietnam and the Netherlands in a sustainable fashion during their talks in The Hague on July 10. 
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte (Source: VNA)
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte (Source: VNA)

At the talks, which took place following a welcome ceremony for the Vietnamese leader the same day, host and guest reviewed the bilateral cooperation over the past time, especially in the five priority areas of climate change response and water management, agriculture, oil and gas, seaport and logistics services.

PM Phuc congratulated the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy led by PM Mark Rutte on its victory during the general election on March 15, 2017. 

He stressed that Vietnam always attaches importance to enhancing the friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with the Netherlands, one of the country’s leading partners in the EU. 

For his part, PM Mark Rutte affirmed Vietnam is the Netherlands’s important partner and a potential market in Southeast Asia. 

He said the Government and business circle of the Netherlands back the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which, he said, is expected to open up new opportunities for investment and business cooperation between the two sides. 

The two PMs noted that the Netherlands has become Vietnam’s second largest European trade partner with two-way trade reaching 6.7 billion USD in 2016 and the biggest European investor in Vietnam with total registered investment worth 7.7 billion USD. 

Both held that the two countries still hold great potential for cooperation. 

The leaders noted with pleasure the initial results of the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement on Climate Change Adaptation and Water Management inked by the two countries in 2010 and the Strategic Partnership Agreement on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security signed in 2014. They consented to continue carrying out specific cooperation projects in the fields. 

The Netherlands pledged to provide more support for Vietnam in updating the Mekong River Plan, restructuring and building the regional connectivity, accessing suitable financial resources and regional planning for climate change adaptation, while boosting collaboration between Rotterdam and Ho Chi Minh City. 

The two sides also agreed to step up their partnership in high-tech sustainable agriculture and food safety, improving value chains of meat products and conducting research on plant varieties adaptive to climate change. 

They were delighted at cooperation achievements in other sectors including aviation, tourism, health care as well as affiliation between the two countries’ localities. 

Regarding specific orientations and measures to foster the friendship and cooperation between the two countries in the time ahead, the PMs consented to maintain the exchange of all-level delegations in order to intensify mutual trust and understanding, and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese and Dutch businesses to increase their partnership and investment in climate change and water management, high-tech and sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, maritime economy, and logistics and seaport services. 

The two countries will also tighten their coordination and mutual support at multilateral organisations and forums in tandem with promoting bilateral affiliation in national defence-security and peace-keeping activities within the UN framework. 

Talking about the East Sea issue, the leaders reiterated the significance of safeguarding peace, stability, security and maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the waters to the region and the world. 

PM Mark Rutte emphasised the Netherlands’s backing of the views shared by Vietnam and other ASEAN nations to address disputes by peaceful measures; not to use force or threaten to use force; abide by legal and diplomatic processes in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Following the talks, the two PMs and the WB Country Director for Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in food safety management. 

The two PMs also inked a Letter of Intent between the two governments on the cooperation to facilitate and implement large-scale transformative projects for a sustainable Mekong Delta of Vietnam, and witnessed the signing of cooperation documents in infrastructure, natural disaster combat, seaport and logistic services by the two countries’ ministries and agencies. 

PM Phuc used this occasion to invite his Dutch counterpart to visit Vietnam. PM Mark Rutte accepted the invitation with pleasure. The time for the visit will be arranged through the diplomatic channel. 

At the end of the talks, the two sides issued a joint statement on outcomes of PM Phuc’s official visit to the Netherlands from July 8-11.