Thursday, February 2, 2023

Vietnam – Netherlands – new signals of comprehensive relation

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Diplomat Magazine
Diplomat Magazine
DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

By Dr. Mayelinne De Lara

Close cooperation

Relations between the Netherlands and Vietnam have existed for more than 400 years, when the East India Company’s merchant fleet turned to East Asia, explored the market and sourced raw materials. At that time, Vietnam was not the promised land of Dutch trade and Vietnam was not what it is today. Then, after many historical events, Vietnam-Netherlands relations have become increasingly positive, especially in the past two decades, with visits by senior leaders of both countries. Crown Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Máxima have visited Vietnam twice (2005 and 2011). In particular, Her Majesty Queen Máxima also visited Vietnam as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Mandate for the Promotion of Financial and Digital Inclusion.

The foundation of this good relationship is the need to complement each other and the ability to share common values, similarities of natural conditions as well as the challenges of nature itself. The implementation of the agreements of the “Strategic Partnership on Climate Change Adaptation – Water Management” (since 2010) and the “Strategic Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture – Food Security” (since 2014) occupies an important place in the cooperation between the two countries.

The Netherlands and Vietnam upgraded their relations to a comprehensive partnership in 2019 during Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s visit (4/2019). Since then, the two sides have cooperated extensively in many areas, from politics to diplomacy, economy, trade, investment… Within the EU framework, the Netherlands has developed an Indo-Pacific strategy, further affirming the guidelines for strengthening and deepening cooperation with Asian countries, such as Vietnam, for security and stability, sustainable development based on multilateralism and international law, and for the Millennium Development Goals.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh received Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher on 28 November 2022

Fruitful cooperation.

On trade, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement has contributed significantly to creating positive changes in bilateral economic and trade cooperation, including during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, the Netherlands is still Vietnam’s 2nd largest trading partner in the EU with bilateral trade turnover in the first 9 months of the year reaching nearly €8.3 billion.

In terms of investment, the Netherlands is the EU’s largest partner for investing FDI in Vietnam with a total registered capital of about 13.58 billion euros with nearly 400 projects, focused on the fields of processing industry, production, distribution of electricity, gas, water… The prospects for investment cooperation promise bright results when the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement is approved by EU members.

In addition, the two countries cooperate closely in many other areas such as culture, education, promotion of the rule of law and human rights, crime prevention… Cooperation between organizations, companies, between cities and provinces such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Binh Duong, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven… is well appreciated, bringing positive effects to both sides, helping to improve understanding and shared prosperity of both countries.

The Netherlands and Vietnam also actively contribute to the promotion and development of the EU-ASEAN strategic partnership. The strengthening of relations between the two main prestigious regional organizations in Asia and Europe should be an important factor for peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

In 2022, as soon as the Covid-19 epidemic recedes, cooperation between the two countries saw many new positive signals. At the end of November, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher and nearly 50 leading Dutch companies visited Vietnam. As the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries approaches next year 2023, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will pay an official visit to the Netherlands in December. 

These visits will certainly open a new stage in the development of relations between the two countries. On this occasion, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will also visit several European countries and attend the EU-ASEAN Summit in Belgium.

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