HCM City (VNA) - The Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO) hosted a ceremony on May 14 to celebrate the 48th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Netherlands.

Addressing the ceremony, HUFO Vice President Tran Hoang Khanh Van said the two countries have witnessed solid progress in bilateral relations over the 48 years, especially their decision to lift ties to a strategic partnership in 2019.

People-to-people relations between Vietnam and the Netherlands had existed before the two countries established diplomatic ties, she added.

Of particular note, the Medical Committee Netherlands-Vietnam (MCNV), which was set up in the Netherlands in 1968, has conducted a range of activities to support the Vietnamese people.

In addition to MCNV, many Dutch non-governmental organisations (NGOs) continue to cooperate with and help Vietnam in the fields of health, education, and poverty reduction, she said.

HCM City is one of the leading localities nationwide in implementing cooperation activities with the Netherlands, especially in climate change adaptation and sustainable agricultural development, Van added.

For his part, Consul General of the Netherlands to HCM City Carel Jacob Johan Richter affirmed that Vietnam is a priority country in his country’s external relations, especially in trade and investment and sustainable development.

The Netherlands also remains an important economic partner of Vietnam, he said, adding that there is great potential and prospects for the two sides to further foster relations in the future.

On the occasion, a committee to promote the establishment of a Vietnam-Netherlands Friendship Association in HCM City was launched. The association is expected to strengthen multifaceted cooperation between the two countries as well as mutual understanding, solidarity, and friendship between their people./.