PM Pham Minh Chinh' visit is the key to a responsible and sustainable future for Vietnam-Netherlands: Dutch Ambassador

WVR - On the occasion of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's visit to the Netherlands, Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Kees Van Baar shared his assessment and expectations about this visit.
PM Pham Minh Chinh' visit is the key to a responsible and sustainable future for Vietnam-Netherlands: NL Ambassador
Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Kees Van Baar. (Photo: Thu Trang)

Dear Your Excellency, could you please share with us your assessment on the upcoming visit of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to the Netherlands?

The visit of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh marks the excellent bilateral relations between the Netherlands and Vietnam in which we look forward celebrating 50 years of bilateral ties in 2023.

PM Chinh’s visit to the Netherlands is a confirmation that our countries are heading into the right direction. At one hand, PM Chinh’s visit builds on and cements the bilateral success of Green Economy Forum & Exhibition (GEFE) 2022, building a sustainable relationship together.

At the other, PM Chinh’s visit provides the opportunity to boost and improve the business environment between our countries and attract more investors.

The visit of PM Chinh promotes the alliance of Dutch and Vietnamese governments, businesses, investors and knowledge institutes and engaged citizens, which is the key to a responsible and sustainable future for both our countries.

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Viet Nam-Netherlands diplomatic ties. What are crucial achievements the two nations have gained over the recent time? What are key cooperation sectors and priorities between the two countries to promote the bilateral relationship in the upcoming time?

The Netherlands and Vietnam have a longstanding relationship. The Prime Ministers of Vietnam and the Netherlands have made many visits to each other.

Trade is flourishing, even more so thanks to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFFTA). Right now, the Netherlands is Vietnam’s second-largest EU trading partner and biggest EU investor.

I must say PM Chinh's visit is very timely because it comes shortly after the visit of our Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Schreinemacher, with the agenda focusing on the transition to a green economy.

In the near future, our countries will increasingly cooperate on our shared commitment on becoming net-zero (carbon neutral) economies in 2050.

We can strengthen cooperation at all levels: government, business, research and training institutions. The two countries need to share common environmental challenges, because if we don't act, we will sink below sea level. Therefore, the two countries need to strengthen cooperation in the fields of sustainable agriculture, water management, renewable energy, etc.

PM Pham Minh Chinh' visit is the key to a responsible and sustainable future for Vietnam-Netherlands: NL Ambassador
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the GEFE 2022 on November 28. (Source: VNA)

The Netherlands is Vietnam's leading EU trading partner. Since the EVFTA took effect, how have the two countries implemented this Agreement to further strengthen trade relations?

The trade between the EU and Vietnam increased significantly since the EVFTA entered into force in August 2020. Particularly the exports of Vietnam to Europe have grown substantially.

And with 60% of Vietnamese exports destined for European Markets entering the EU via the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands plays an important role in supporting and facilitating the further growth of the EU-Vietnam trade.

As the main logistical hub and gate to Europe, we are also interested in supporting the development of the logistical sector in Vietnam. For Vietnam growing exports to be shipped all over the world, it is important to develop green and smart logistical infrastructure.

The Netherlands has committed to support Vietnam in carrying out the latter’s Mekong Delta Master Plan until 2030 with a vision to 2050, and in developing a circular economy featured by the popular use of renewable energy. How has this commitment been put into practice? What experiences can the Netherlands share with Vietnam?

We are proud that the Mekong Delta Master Plan has been designed with help of Dutch experts and are committed to assist Vietnam with further implementation. Already there are several concrete projects with the involvement of Dutch companies and experts.

The current project portfolio in the Mekong Delta amounts already more than 50 million Euro with a mere focus on climate change, water and agriculture.

Also, in renewable energy the Netherlands is gaining a bigger footprint for instance in offshore wind and waste to energy solutions. There are however a number of challenges ahead. For instance, in the distribution of renewable energy in case of overproduction Vietnam still lacks a regulatory framework and the possibility for companies to share resources.

The Netherlands can not only set the right example in technology but also share best practices for the benefit of not only our economies but also the climate.

Thank you!

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