Celebrating 50 Years of Vietnam-Netherlands Relations in Hanoi

On December 15, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a workshop in Hanoi to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Netherlands relations. The event aimed to highlight the bilateral cooperation accomplishments and discuss future prospects.

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Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang delivered a speech at the workshop. Photo: VNA

In the opening speech, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang described the Vietnam-Netherlands relationship as a dynamic, effective, and practical cooperation, according to VietnamPlus.

The two countries have become priority and important partners through the establishment of a comprehensive partnership in 2019, with increased political trust. The Netherlands is now Vietnam’s second-largest trade partner in Europe and the largest EU investor in Vietnam.

According to the diplomat, the two countries established a strategic partnership on climate change response and water management in 2010, and a strategic partnership on sustainable agriculture and food security in 2014. They have implemented specific and practical projects in the Mekong Delta. The bilateral relationship has expanded to include national defense-security, transportation, and science and technology, at both the central and local levels.

Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Kees van Baar expressed his desire to deepen collaboration with Vietnam in various fields, especially people-to-people exchanges and sustainable development.

Participants in a group photo. Photo: VNA

Regarding future cooperation, Hang stated that the two countries should continue maintaining a solid political foundation through meetings at all levels and channels to facilitate collaboration in other areas.

Economy, trade, and investment should remain important pillars in the bilateral ties. Hang suggested that both nations should take advantage of significant opportunities brought by legal frameworks such as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

As they explore new opportunities and driving forces of cooperation in the circular economy and green growth, the diplomat proposed fully utilizing Vietnam’s advantages and potential, with the support of the Netherlands, in building institutions, transferring technology, and training the workforce, towards sustainable development.

Providing information at the seminar, Le Thi Thanh Minh, Head of the Department of European-American Markets (Ministry of Industry and Trade), informed that the Netherlands has consistently been one of Vietnam’s leading trading partners in the EU in recent years, according to Viet Nam News.

Economy, trade, and investment should remain important pillars in the bilateral ties. Photo: VNA

Currently, the Netherlands is Vietnam’s sixth-largest export market globally and the second-largest in the EU after Germany. Conversely, Vietnam is the second-largest export market in ASEAN and the 15th globally for the Netherlands.

Over the years, Vietnam has consistently been a net exporter to the Netherlands. Key export items to the Netherlands include phones, electronics, textiles, footwear, agricultural products, and seafood. Meanwhile, imports from the Netherlands consist of machinery, equipment, components, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and dairy products.

The Netherlands is also the largest EU investor in Vietnam, and many Dutch products, such as “Dutch Lady” milk, Heineken, Philips, and Unilever, have been widely present in the daily lives of Vietnamese people.

According to Tran Toan Thang, Head of the International Cooperation Department, Institute of Development Strategy (Ministry of Planning and Investment), most Dutch investment projects in Vietnam are of moderate and small scale but are carried out by large corporations and operate effectively.

Conversely, Vietnam currently has nine investment projects in the Netherlands, covering areas such as the import and distribution of telecommunications equipment, automobiles, components, provision of services related to electric vehicle batteries, e-commerce, food services, agricultural and aquatic product exports.

The prospects for cooperation are promising, as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) presents many collaboration opportunities for Vietnam and the Netherlands.

Rosy Huong