Vietnam, Netherlands eye stronger trade ties hinh anh 1Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and the Netherlands’ Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag engaged in a phone talk on September 1 to discuss ways to boost bilateral cooperation between the two sides.

Kaag affirmed that Vietnam is an important partner of the Netherlands, and expressed her good impression of achievements Vietnam has gained in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic over the recent past.

She noted that the Netherlands is the second biggest market of Vietnam’s exports in the EU, and also the largest European investor in the Southeast Asian country.

The minister urged that the two sides carry out more activities in the time ahead in order to enhance their trade ties and deal with economic consequences of the pandemic.

Kaag informed that there will be an array of virtual trade missions hosted by the Dutch embassies in some ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, in October and November, and invited the Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade to attend the launching ceremony for these activities.

Regarding the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), the Dutch minister said due to COVID-19, the approval of the deal has yet to be included in the agenda of the Dutch Parliament.

Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development will work for the agreement to be early included in the working agenda of the parliament, she pledged.

The minister also lauded the Vietnamese government’s efforts in implementing the chapter on sustainable development progamme in the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), saying the Netherlands stands ready to provide technical assistance for Vietnam in this regard.

The Netherland also wishes to step up cooperation with Vietnam in promoting a circular economy and low-carbon production, towards sustainable development, and clean and renewable energy, she stressed.

For his part, Minister Anh spoke highly of the close collaboration between Vietnam and the Netherlands across spheres, including trade, renewable energy, low-carbon production, and trade promotion, and suggested the two sides take more concrete, efficient steps in the existing cooperation areas.

He thanked the Dutch government for their support during the negotiation and ratification of the EVFTA and EVIPA, expressing his hope that the two countries will beef up their cooperation in the enforcement of the two deals.

Both ministers backed the idea on holding a virtual seminar on the agreements, and investment and trade ties between Vietnam and the Netherlands, which is expected to gather about 12-13 CEOs from major Dutch industrial groups like Shell, Philips and Friesland Campia, and Vietnamese enterprises.

This would be an opportunity for Dutch firms to learn more about the investment environment in Vietnam, while offering cooperation opportunities for businesses of the two countries, they said.

As for the circular economy, Tuan Anh praised the joint efforts in establishing a close cooperation framework with documents signed at different levels, from businesses to state management agencies.

The minister said he hopes for an action plan with specific activities in order to advance the partnership in this regard.

Statistics of the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that trade between Vietnam and the Netherlands reached nearly 7.6 billion USD last year, with Vietnam’s exports to the European country hitting 6.9 billion USD and its imports, 661 million USD.

In the first seven months of this year, Vietnam exported more than 3.83 billion USD worth of goods to the Netherlands, up 0.46 percent year-on-year, even when Vietnam’s total export revenue to the EU dropped 5.96 percent in the period./.