Monday, 22 Apr 2019
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Vietnam, Netherlands upgrade ties, climate resilience in the spotlight

Updated at Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019, 09:53
The Hanoitimes - A comprehensive partnership will enable the two countries to tap cooperation potential in other fields as the Netherlands is Vietnam`s biggest European investor.
Vietnam and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have agreed to upgrade bilateral relationship to a comprehensive partnership during the visit paid by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on April 9-11. 
 
The two PMs in Hanoi on April 9. Photo: VGP
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his guest, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Hanoi on April 9. Photo: VGP
With the comprehensive partnership, the bilateral relations will continue developing strongly in traditional cooperation fields, and expand in many other sectors, local media quoted Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as saying at the joint press conference following the two PMs' talks on April 9.

(1) Under the joint statement, strategic partnership in climate change adaptation and water management appear to be key aspects in the upcoming cooperation besides sustainable agriculture, and food security.

Other fields such as security, defense, culture, education, economy, shipbuilding, maritime, and smart urban development also open up many cooperation opportunities between the two nations.

Therefore, their own ministries and agencies signed a number of agreements to put forward measures with the aim of maximizing these potential opportunities.

The two PMs highly appreciated the signing of agreements on customs and other fields, and the negotiations on allowing relatives of diplomats to work for income in each country. 

(2) Bilateral relations: both sides pledged to maintain regular visits among high-level delegations, and enhance the effectiveness of their various mechanisms of sectoral cooperation, as well as create favorable conditions for their businesses and investors to forge their partnership and raise their business and investment efficiency.

Being the largest European investor and the second leading European trading partner of Vietnam, the Netherlands said it supported the early ratification of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (IPA). 

(3) Multilateral relations: the two sides will continue closely cooperating at international forums, especially within the frameworks of the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the EU.

They expressed their support for the building of a strong and prosperous ASEAN community and further step up the ASEAN-EU cooperation towards a future strategic partnership.

They reaffirmed the importance of peace, security, and stability in the South China Sea, known as the East Sea in Vietnam, and respect for the maritime order based on international law, as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, including the freedom of navigation and overflight, and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means.

(4) In terms of economic ties: Dutch PM Mark Rutte said that Vietnam and the Netherlands have many similarities since they are strategically located on two continents. Both countries have deltas and have strong agriculture sectors which play a key role in the export. 

 
The two sides discuss measures for further cooperation. Photo: VGP
The two sides discuss measures for further cooperation. Photo: VGP
It is a common foundation for the cooperation between the two sides.

He noted that the Dutch government attaches great importance to inclusive and sustainable development together with sound governance, transparency, and business environment predictability. 

Therefore, economic development must be aligned with sustainable growth and environmental protection so that future generations will enjoy the benefits from such development achievements, Rutte said.

He added that the two governments will coordinate with the relevant stakeholders, including the private sector, to advance their common prosperity and benefit their people.

With desire to boost the bilateral economic relations, Prime Minister Phuc affirmed that Vietnam will relax rules and facilitate Dutch firms, mostly those specialize in electronics, information technology, hi-tech, sustainable agriculture, irrigation, environmentally-friendly industries, renewable energy, including wind power, sea ports, shipbuilding, infrastructure, health, education, and green growth.

After the talks, the two PMs signed a memorandum of understanding on agricultural transformation in the Mekong Delta. 

In 2018, Vietnam welcomed more than 77,300 Dutch visitors, the fourth largest source of tourists from Europe. 
Linh Pham
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