Hanoi, The Gulf Observer Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chinh on Thursday held talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, where both leaders expressed their profound appreciation for the concerted efforts of the two countries to fulfil their commitments and cooperation agreements in the past time.
PM Chinh said PM Rutte’s official visit to Viet Nam marked a significant moment in diplomatic relations, particularly in the context of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Viet Nam and the Netherlands (1973-2023).
This visit was seen as a momentous occasion to strengthen the Viet Nam-Netherlands Comprehensive Partnership, characterised by trust, sincerity, dynamism and practicality. Both leaders underscored their nations’ strong commitment to cooperation, self-reliance, sustainability and contributions to regional and global peace, stability and development.
In return, the Dutch PM emphasised Viet Nam’s status as a priority and significant partner in the Indo-Pacific region for the Netherlands. He expressed his delight at officially visiting Viet Nam for the third time.
Following a grand official welcoming ceremony held yesterday morning, the two PMs engaged in an in-depth discussion on the socio-economic development of their respective countries. They explored measures to strengthen bilateral relations and exchanged views on international economic and regional concerns.
The Dutch PM commended Viet Nam’s remarkable post-COVID-19 recovery and socio-economic development, particularly since his previous visit in 2019, lauding these achievements as nothing short of miraculous.
Both leaders expressed their deep appreciation for the concerted efforts of their countries in fulfilling commitments and cooperation agreements following PM Chính’s official visit to the Netherlands in December 2022. They celebrated the continued vibrant exchange of delegations and the effective implementation of cooperation mechanisms, which included the signing of several new cooperation documents.
Recognising the need to build and enhance political trust through high-level delegation exchanges, both leaders committed to maintaining and optimising bilateral cooperation mechanisms and agreements. They also expressed their intention to explore new avenues for deepening specialised cooperation.
Underlining the importance of economics and trade in their relationship, both leaders pledged their commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Viet Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
PM Chinh welcomed a delegation of nearly 30 leading Dutch high-tech enterprises that accompanied PM Rutte. He viewed this collaboration as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation between the two nations.
The Vietnamese PM also urged the Netherlands to support the European Commission in expeditiously removing the IUU “yellow card” for Viet Nam’s seafood exports. Additionally, he encouraged the prompt ratification of the Viet Nam-EU Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and encouraged Dutch businesses to explore investment opportunities in Viet Nam’s key sectors, such as high technology, seaports and strategic infrastructure.
The Dutch PM highlighted Dutch businesses’ keen interest in Viet Nam, emphasising the country’s political stability and favourable investment and business environment. He committed to actively expediting the ratification process of the EVIPA and expressed deep appreciation for Viet Nam’s efforts in developing sustainable fisheries. He further affirmed their intent to maintain close coordination with EU member countries to support Viet Nam in this regard.
Both leaders concurred on the need to advance the Strategic Partnership framework, particularly in the areas of climate change adaptation, water management and sustainable agriculture. They aimed to address global challenges collaboratively, with a specific focus on initiatives encompassing offshore sand exploitation, green economic development, circular economy practices, urban responses to climate change, and the training of high-quality human resources in the fields of climate change, water resource management, irrigation and natural disaster prevention.
PM Chinh proposed that the Netherlands and G7 countries provide support to Viet Nam in technology, finance, human resources and institutional improvement to effectively implement the Joint Energy Transition Partnership. He also suggested the establishment of a trilateral cooperation mechanism on agriculture to address global food security concerns.
The Dutch PM expressed his interest in supporting the Mekong Delta region in responding to climate change. He voiced his support for Viet Nam’s initiatives, including the Mekong Delta Plan for the period 2021-2030 with vision to 2050, and the plan for sustainable agricultural transformation in the Mekong Delta. He also pledged his commitment to the completion of the legal framework for water resource management.
Both leaders emphasised the significance of science, technology and innovation as pivotal sectors for cooperation. They committed to maximising the potential for collaboration in high technology, including the manufacturing of electronic circuits, semiconductor devices, digital platform and telecommunications ecosystem development, digital transformation, and the advancement of human resources in these domains. Furthermore, they committed to expanding their cooperative efforts in areas such as exploration and sustainable exploitation of crucial minerals, defence and security, customs, shipping, logistics and fostering people-to-people exchanges.
During their discussions, the two leaders delved extensively into international and regional matters of mutual concern, reinforcing their commitment to continued coordination and mutual support at international and regional organisations. These included, notably, the United Nations and the ASEAN-EU framework. The Dutch PM lauded Việt Nam’s independent and self-reliant foreign policy, applauding its commitment to diversification, multilateralism and peaceful dispute resolution, firmly grounded in international law.
PM Chinh extended his congratulations to the Netherlands on its official designation as a Development Partner of ASEAN. He eagerly anticipated the Netherlands’ deeper involvement and numerous initiatives that would contribute to enhancing ASEAN-EU relations on a broader scale, and in particular, the ASEAN-Netherlands relationship.
In the context of the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea), both leaders expressed their unwavering support for ensuring security, safety, freedom of navigation and aviation, and the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, with a specific emphasis on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They also affirmed their backing for a practical and effective Code of Conduct (COC) negotiation process between ASEAN and China.
Following the talks, the two Prime Ministers presided over the signing of four pivotal cooperation documents involving ministries, branches and associations from both nations, encompassing exploration and sustainable exploitation of vital minerals, customs, investment, and trade. These agreements included the issuance of the Dutch Orange Book, the implementation of the Agreement between Viet Nam and the Netherlands on cooperation and mutual administrative support in the realm of customs, a decision regarding non-refundable aid from the Netherlands for the programme aimed at promoting exports to the EU market through an e-commerce platform designed for women-owned businesses in Viet Nam, and a Letter of Intent on cooperation in the exploration and sustainable exploitation of essential minerals.