Vietnam is one of the Netherlands’ most important partners in the region, visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Vietnamese Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong.
Vietnamese Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong (R) and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
During a meeting with the Vietnamese Party and State leader in Hanoi on April 9 in the framework of his official visit to Vietnam, the Dutch PM said that he is impressed by Vietnam’s current development.
He expressed his joy at the fruitful development of bilateral relations between the Netherlands and Vietnam in recent times, especially in trade-investment and strategic cooperation fields, such as climate change adaptation, water management, sustainable agriculture, and food security.
The guest affirmed the attraction of the Vietnamese market in particular and ASEAN market in general for Dutch businesses and partners, adding that he believes the two nations will cooperate with greater strength in the future.
For his part, Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong applauded the second visit of PM Rutte to Vietnam in the context of effective and dynamic cooperation between the two countries.
He appreciated the Netherlands’ continued role as the biggest European investor in Vietnam, the second largest European trading partner, as well as being one of the major export markets of the southeast Asian country.
He applauded the building of a comprehensive partnership between the two sides to increase cooperation and meet the development requirements of the two countries, especially in areas with great potential, such as renewable energy, high-quality agriculture, the food industry, seaport and logistics services, and smart urban development.
He highly valued the close coordination between the two countries at multilateral forums, including the United Nations, ASEAN, and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), suggesting the Dutch side actively encourage the European Union (EU) to complete the legal review and procedures towards signing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Protection Agreement between Vietnam and EU.
NA Chairwoman meets Dutch Prime Minister
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has expressed her delight at the consensus reached on the upgrade of Vietnam-Netherlands ties to the comprehensive partnership level which, she said, will open up new cooperation opportunities for both sides.
During a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Hanoi on April 9, Ngan congratulated the two PMs on their successful talks.
She thanked the Netherlands for supporting Vietnam’s run as non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.
Informing the host about the outcomes of his talks with PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Rutte said both countries have delta regions and export farm produce, so they could learn from each other’s experience.
Vietnam and the Netherlands formed a strategic partnership on climate change adaptation and water management, while Vietnam’s exports to the European country rose seven-fold in only five years.
Discussing issues regarding the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), NA Chairwoman Ngan said the Vietnamese legislature is in the process of refining legal regulations in line with international commitments and the FTAs Vietnam has signed and joined.
Rutte said the Netherlands supports the early signing and ratification of the EVFTA, which is beneficial to not only Vietnam but all parties concerned, especially the Netherlands.
As the Netherlands is the largest EU investor and the second largest EU trade partner of Vietnam, the country is seeking measures to push forward the EVFTA signing and ratification, he said.
Dutch PM believes in stronger economic ties with Vietnam
Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue attended a roundtable discussion with 70 leading Dutch businesses and senior officials of Vietnam's ministries and sectors in Hanoi on April 9.
Addressing the event, part of an official visit by PM Rutte, Deputy PM Hue said that despite the geographical distance, the two countries’ trade relations date back to long time ago. In the 17th century, merchant vessels from the Netherlands reached Hoi An port in the area which is now Vietnam’s central province of Quang Nam, laying the foundation for bilateral trade ties.
This is an important historical basis for the strong development of their economic links, as seen in the recent past, he said, noting that the Netherlands is currently the biggest European investor in Vietnam with the total registered capital of over 9.5 billion USD. In 2018, bilateral trade surpassed 7.84 billion USD, accounting for 1.6 percent of Vietnam’s total trade turnover and about 14.6 percent of the country’s trade with EU members.
Roughly 77,300 Dutch tourists visited the Southeast Asian nation last year, making the Netherlands the fourth largest source of European travellers to Vietnam.
Valuing the Dutch delegation’s visit to Vietnam, Hue considered this trip an important chance to foster investment partnership and capitalise on the sound bilateral relations.
The deputy PM expressed his belief that once the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is signed and takes effect, it will create new opportunities for Dutch enterprises to invest and do business in Vietnam. Therefore, he asked the government, parliament, and businesses of the Netherlands to support the signing and ratification of this deal.
Vietnam is ready to provide optimal conditions for Dutch firms to invest in fields they hold strengths in, such as electronics, information technology, high technology, sustainable agriculture, irrigation, environmentally-friendly industries, renewable energy, wind power, seaport, shipbuilding, infrastructure development, healthcare, education-training, and green growth, Hue said, adding that “Your successes are also ours.”
For his part, PM Rutte said the two governments should continue removing as many obstacles as possible so as to facilitate investment cooperation between their businesses.
He also spoke highly of the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in improving the business climate, national competitiveness, and innovation indexes. He voiced his belief that bilateral economic, trade, and investment links will develop with greater strength in the time ahead.
Aside from trade, both sides also share many similarities, including marine economic potential, deltas, and climate change-related challenges. As such, the 70 Dutch companies visiting Vietnam this time, which have strength in such fields as agriculture, water, and wind power, are willing to cooperate with Vietnamese businesses, the PM added.
At the discussion, CEOs of Dutch companies said they are ready to make cooperation and investment for the sake of both sides. Deputy PM Hue also fielded their questions and opinions about Vietnam’s investment policy.