The Netherlands has reaffirmed to strengthen closer relationship and cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The message was conveyed to ASEAN Secretary General of ASEAN, Le Luong Minh by Dutch Ambassador to ASEAN Rob Swarthbol during his presentation of credentials on June 8, according to the group’s press release.

The Netherlands recognises the important role played by ASEAN in the regional and international affairs; ASEAN is a prime example for the regional cooperation framework that contributes immensely to regional peace and stability, said the ambassador.

He reaffirmed that his country will intensify greater practical cooperation with the bloc, particularly in the areas of trade, investment, education, science and technology.

The Netherlands will continue to support human resources development through the offer of scholarships to ASEAN member countries and the ASEAN Secretariat, he added.

Besides, the country is ready to offer a capacity building programme on international law and sea law.

The ASEAN chief congratulated Swartbol on assuming his duty as Dutch Ambassador to ASEAN and welcomed Netherlands’ commitment in pursuing closer relationship and cooperation with ASEAN.

Minh stated that the Netherlands has vast expertise and experience which ASEAN can benefit from.

He also updated the ambassador on the progress of the ASEAN Community building, and encouraged the Netherlands to actively engage and explore potential collaboration and cooperation with ASEAN.-VNA