Promoting Vietnam-Netherlands ties to be more extensive, effective

Tuesday, 2019-04-09 11:21:40
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte during the former's visit to the Netherlands in 2017. (Photo: VGP)
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NDO - Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte begins his official visit to Vietnam on April 9 at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, coinciding with the 46th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

The Dutch PM’s visit marks a new milestone in the bilateral relationship, helping to further deepen the strategic partnerships between the two countries on climate change adaption and water management, and sustainable agriculture and food security.

The Netherlands has been dubbed a small country with great achievements. It has a highly developed economy. The Netherlands ranks third in the world in foreign direct investment, at US$266 billion, third in the global creativity index, fourth in economic competitiveness in the world and seventh in the global human development index.

In 2017, the Netherlands was the sixth largest economy in the European Union and 18th in the world, while ranking 12th in GDP per capita globally. Its economy grew by 3.1% in 2017, the fastest pace in ten years. The Netherlands is one of the world’s ten largest export-import economies, with the export of goods and services accounting for 81.4% of GDP.

The Netherlands is the world’s second largest agricultural exporter with revenues of EUR 91.7 billion in 2017. The Dutch economy is looking towards green growth. In recent years, the Netherlands’ foreign policy has been shifting towards Asia, with economic diplomacy as the main approach, considering Asia as a potential market for Dutch businesses and investors. Development cooperation is an important part in the European country’s foreign policy. The Netherlands is one of a few countries in the world that meets the target of spending 0.7% of annual GDP on development cooperation.

We are pleased to witness the positive development of the Vietnam-Netherlands ties in all fields in a more intensive and substantive manner. During Vietnam’s resistance war against the US, many Dutch people took to the street to protest the war and established a Netherlands-Vietnam medical committee in 1968 to provide humanitarian aid to Vietnam.

After establishing diplomatic ties with Vietnam in 1973, the Netherlands began to provide non-refundable ODA to Vietnam, especially in humanitarian aid, education-training and healthcare. Currently the Netherlands considers Vietnam as a priority partner and the policy of promoting cooperation with Vietnam is strongly endorsed by Dutch political and business circles.

The two sides have frequently exchanged high-level delegations to strongly drive the bilateral relationship, with the most recent being Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to the Netherlands in July 2017 and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Nga’s visit in March 2018. Prime Minister Mark Rutte also visited Vietnam in June 2014.

The Vietnam-Netherlands relationship is typical of a dynamic and effective relationship between Vietnam and a European country. It is worth noting that the two countries established a strategic partnership on climate change adaptation and water in management in October 2010 and a strategic partnership on sustainable agriculture and food security in June 2014. The two sides cooperate actively at international and regional multilateral organisations and forums, especially within the framework of the United Nations, ASEAM, ASEAN-EU. The Netherlands highly appreciates Vietnam’s growing role in resolving the East Sea issue as well as its contribution to regional peace and security.

In recent years, Vietnam-Netherlands trade cooperation has been growing incessantly, with trade volume relatively large and increasing year after year, in which Vietnam always records a trade surplus. The Netherlands is currently one of Vietnam’s largest export markets in Europe. In 2018, two-way trade reached US$7.84 billion. In recent years, the Netherlands has always been one of the largest European investors in Vietnam. During the 1988-2018 period, the Netherlands ranked 10th among 129 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with more than 318 active projects worth more than US$9.3 billion in total.

Bilateral cooperation in defence-security, climate change adaptation and water management, agriculture, education, aeronautics, customs, maritime cooperation and local cooperation have all seen many positive results. Cultural exchanges have also been held to promote the mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries’ people.

PM Mark Rutte’s visit aims to affirm the wish of the two countries’ people and leaders to lift the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership, promote the Vietnam-Netherlands relationship in a more extensive and effective manner in all fields, especially in the economy, trade and investment. May PM Mark Rutte’s visit to Vietnam be a great success, helping to bring Vietnam-Netherlands ties to new heights.

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