Vietnamese and Dutch businesses should make full use of the cooperation potential between the two countries, especially in the fields of education, agriculture, textiles, energy and ship building, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said.

The Deputy PM made this suggestion during the opening ceremony of the Forum on Dutch-Vietnamese Economic Cooperation in The Hague on September 24.

He affirmed that bilateral trade and investment cooperation had entered a new stage of development.

Dutch Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Simon Smits said his country was one the European Union’s leading investors and trade partners in Vietnam, expressing his belief that the prompt signing of a free trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam would also enhance the economic ties between the Netherlands and Vietnam.

During the forum, Vietnamese firms and their Dutch counterparts discussed opportunities for cooperation with regard to investment policy, agriculture, energy and textiles.

A memorandum of understanding was signed regarding cooperation on fruit and vegetable production between Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands.

Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai also attended meetings with representatives from leading Dutch corporations such as Shell, Royal Friesland Campina, Heineken and ING bank.

Jointly organised by the Vietnamese ministries of Foreign Affairs and Industry and Trade, and the Dutch ministries of Foreign and Economic Affairs, the forum aims to accelerate the implementation of agreements reached between the two sides, such as the Strategy Partnership on Climate Change Adaptation and Water Management (2010) and the agreement on Sustainable Agriculture Development and Food Security (2014).

That same day, the Deputy PM delivered an opening speech at the exhibition “Vietnamese space” in Amsterdam, which is part of the ongoing “Vietnam Days in the Netherlands”.

The exhibition aims to give visitors an insight into Vietnam’s culture, people and landscapes as well as the country’s socio-economic development.

Several Vietnamese agricultural products such as cocoa, cashew nuts, and coffee were displayed during the three-day event in a bid to promote Vietnam’s products.

Speaking at the event, Dutch Foreign Trade Minister Smits said the bilateral relations between the Netherland and Vietnam were developing fruitfully.

Amsterdam’s council member H. Gaubitz reported that the Mayor of Amsterdam would be visiting Hanoi in December to bolster the friendship between the two cities.

Later that day, Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai left the Netherlands for Finland, beginning his official visit to the Northern European country.-VNA