A Vietnam-Netherlands energy forum was held in Hanoi on June 17 as part of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s visit to Vietnam.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang said that Vietnam and the Netherlands signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on energy in The Hague in 2011, creating a firm legal framework for bilateral cooperation in this field.

The active coordination in implementing the MoU reflects the two Governments’ determination, he said.

According to Quang, Dutch energy businesses which boast high technology, experience and prestige in oil and gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable energy will see good opportunities to operate in Vietnam , a market with large oil and gas reserves and increasing demand for energy consumption.

Vietnam may also become a provider of fuels for biomass production for Dutch renewable energy companies, he added.

The Vietnamese Government pledges to create every condition for both sides’ businesses to expand cooperation in this area, he affirmed.

At the forum, the two sides agreed that their ministries, agencies and groups should strengthen concrete cooperation programmes in other fields.

At present, major Dutch groups such as Shell, Philip and Heineken are operating in Vietnam .

According to the Advanced Energy Technology International (AETIN) trade mission, including leading energy companies and institutes in the Netherlands , the country now tops the world in designing and building oil and gas infrastructure. It also ranks second in the world in the export of oil and gas products.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and the Netherlands increased from 1.2 billion USD in 2006 to 3.6 billion USD in 2013.

The European country has become Vietnam ’s second export market in the EU, after Germany. It is also one of the leading European investors in Vietnam with 192 projects worth nearly 6.3 billion USD.-VNA