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Apr 09, 2019 / 18:15

70 firms accompany Dutch PM Mark Rutte to Vietnam to foster economic ties

The Netherlands is now the biggest European investor in Vietnam with famous names like Philips, Heineken, Unilever, and Shell.

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, who is on a three-day visit to Vietnam from April 9, is being accompanied by more than 70 Dutch companies, indicating his intention to reinforce economic ties between his country and the Southeast Asian partner.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte in Hanoi on April 9. Photo: Dan Tri
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte in Hanoi on April 9. Photo: Dan Tri
The Dutch companies that are travelling with the official delegation focus on the agri- and horticulture, water, logistics and offshore wind energy sectors, according to the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vietnam.

The business delegation will tour Hanoi, Danang, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City with the participation of Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, State Secretary for Finance Menno Snel, Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Marjolijn Sonnema, and President of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) Hans de Boer.

The visit themed “Sustainable Development Goals: Everybody’s business!” will focuses on responsible business conduct (RBC) as the Dutch – Vietnamese cooperation aims at promoting sustainable and inclusive development.

The guideline enhances the wellbeing of everyone and takes the need to protect the environment into account as the Netherlands is convinced that RBC is the only business case that is economically viable in the long run.

Fostering sustainable and inclusive development will enable Vietnam to realize its full economic potential. The Netherlands is therefore committed to deepening and broadening the cooperation with Vietnam in different economic sectors and together contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Meaningful visit

The two prime ministers at the meeting. Photo: Dan Tri
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a meeting in Hanoi on April 9. Photo: Dan Tri
Prime Minister Mark Rutte's visit comes at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. This is his second visit paid to the Southeast Asian country after the first in 2014. 

During the three-day visit, the Dutch PM will meet President Nguyen Phu Trong, and Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan. 

At the meeting with Prime Minister Phuc on April 9, the two top government leaders discussed the further strengthening of bilateral relations and the importance of the rule of law for economic development, security and stability as well as collaboration in regional and multilateral forums. 

Of the key aspects, they talked about the possibilities to intensify trade between both countries and to deepen cooperation in water management and food security, according to the Vietnamese government’s portal. 

In addition, a treaty and a number of contracts and agreements will be signed in the presence of both PMs including those accelerating climate adaption, boosting offshore wind power, improving food security, and developing civil aviation that aim to deepen economic ties and foster Vietnam’s sustainable development. 

On Tuesday evening [April 9], Prime Minister Rutte will open the sustainable fashion show Walk the talk! with the participation of Chairmand of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung. 

This fair wear spectacle showcases how the Vietnamese and Dutch government, companies and organizations collaborate to foster RBC in the garment industry. 

In terms of trade, the two-way trading value hit US$8 billion in 2018. In terms of investment, the Netherlands is the biggest European investor in Vietnam with 318 projects worth US$9.3 billion. 

Many projects of fruitful results are inclusive of Damen in shipbuilding, Heineken in beverage sector, Unilever in chemicals and cosmetics, Royal Dutch Shell in petroleum exploration and distribution, and Philips in electronics.

The visit once again affirms that economic ties remain one of key pillars in the bilateral relations which was set up in 1973. 

Last month, Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Elsbeth Akkerman said at a meeting with Prime Miniter Nguyen Xuan Phuc that the Kingdom of the Netherlands always wanted to upgrade ties with Vietnam, the Vietnam Television (VTV) reported. 

Vietnamese media call the Netherlands-Vietnam relationship "dynamic and effective".