Vietnam News

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to visit Vietnam next week

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Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte and his entourage including hi-tech entrepreneurs will visit Vietnam from November 1 to 2 to further promote comprehensive cooperation, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Friday.

PM Rutte, who has served as Dutch prime minister since 2010, will make the official visit at the invitation of Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, who made a trip to the Netherlands last December. 

The visit, the third by PM Rutte following his two previous trips in 2014 and 2019, will come as the two countries are celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. 

During the two-day visit, the Dutch premier will meet with General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong, have talks with PM Chinh, and meet other senior officials, focusing on steps to beef up the two countries’ comprehensive partnership.  

He will also attend business forums on hi-tech and green economy, meet with Vietnamese entrepreneurs, and visit students at Hanoi – Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, according to the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam.

PM Rutte, who is in his fourth term, has a deep affection for Vietnam and once said that the Netherlands is a European friend of Vietnam, according to the foreign ministry.

Cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands is extremely diverse, including trade, investment, climate change adaptation, water management, sustainable agriculture, food security and defense security, education and training, and many others.

The Netherlands is Vietnam’s second largest trading partner in Europe, with bilateral trade exchange reaching US$11.09 billion in 2022, an increase of 32 percent from a year earlier.

With about 400 projects worth $13.5 billion being developed in Vietnam, the Netherlands is now the EU’s largest investor in the Southeast Asian nation.

Most of these projects are underway in southern localities, including Ho Chi Minh City and many provinces such as Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Dong Nai and Binh Duong.

Many projects have been operated effectively by large Dutch corporations like Heineken, Unilever, Royal Dutch Shell, Akzo Nobel Coating, and Philips, among others.

The Netherlands ranks 18th in the world and fifth in the EU in terms of GDP size, and is placed second in the world in exporting agricultural products, only after the U.S.

The Western European nation is also one of the most competitive economies in the world, and a leader in digital transformation and sustainable development.

Vietnam and the Netherlands established diplomatic relations on April 9, 1973. 

The two countries have established a strategic partnership on climate change response and water management in 2010, a strategic partnership on sustainable agriculture and food security in 2014, and a comprehensive partnership in 2019.

The two sides have maintained regular exchanges of delegations at all levels, adopted many bilateral cooperation mechanisms, and closely coordinated and supported each other at international forums and organizations.

According to Dutch statistics, the Vietnamese community in the Netherlands had more than 20,000 people in 2020.

Every year, about 400 Vietnamese students and graduate students come to the Netherlands for studies and research, and most of them are self-funded.

By Vinh Tho & Duy Linh – Tuoi Tre News – October 28, 2023

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