NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan is paying an official visit to the Netherlands from March 26-28 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan is paying an official visit to the Netherlands from March 26-28 at the invitation of the Speaker of the Dutch House of Representatives Khadija Arib.

As the first visit of a Vietnamese NA leader to the country, the trip aims to consolidate the friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with the Netherlands amid the celebration of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations (April 9). It will mark a new milestone in the friendship and cooperation between the two Parliaments.

The two sides will exchange information and experience in each country's parliamentary activities and areas of interest; promote cooperation in multi-lateral parliamentary forums to which the two parliaments are members, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and the Asia- Europe Parliamentary Partnership.

Over the past 45 years, the Vietnam – Netherlands relations have grown fruitfully in all fields and been further deepened. Mutual understanding and trust have been strengthened via high-level visits and cooperation mechanisms.

It can be said that the Vietnam – Netherlands relationship is now an example of the dynamic and effective ties between Vietnam and a European country.

The Netherlands has for years considered Vietnam its priority partner, adopting numerous policies to boost bilateral cooperation.

The countries are strategic partners in climate change adaptation - water management and sustainable agriculture - food security. Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi capital, Binh Duong, Vinh Long, An Giang, Dong Thap provinces have cooperated with Dutch localities, focusing on climate change adaptation and impact mitigation, green urban solutions; solid waste-to-energy measures, general and space planning, and flood risk management related to the Hong (Red) River area.

The two sides have cooperated in overall city planning, urban management, infrastructure development, transport and public transport vehicles, and smart transportation.

Over the past years, the two sides have promoted practical and effective cooperation, with priorities given to key areas such as trade - investment, strategic partnerships, logistic services, seaports, oil and gas, shipbuilding; committed to accelerate the early ratification of the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The two sides have identified five priority cooperation areas, namely climate change adaptation, water management, agriculture, energy, marine economy and logistics services.

Cooperation between the two countries in the fields of education - training, security - defense, transport, maritime, and customs have fared well.

Shortly after the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1973, the Netherlands began providing non-refundable assistance for Vietnam, mainly in the humanitarian, education - training and health care fields.

Tertiary education also plays an important role in the Vietnam - Netherlands bilateral cooperation. Since mid 1970, the country has provided numerous scholarships for Vietnam. It earmarked more than 10 million EUR to strengthen Vietnam’s post-high school education through its Initiative for Capacity development in Higher Education (NICHE). The program focuses on the sectors of key Dutch expertise such as agriculture, integrated water resources management, climate change, and vocational education. Many Vietnamese universities and research institutes have established close cooperative ties with Dutch partners.

Overseas Vietnamese students in the Netherlands mainly pursue majors of economics, business administration, engineering and technology.

In the field of transport, the two sides have cooperated in waterways and airlines, and eyed on opening direct flight routes, sharing experience and capacity building for the transport sector, as well as promote their enterprises’ connection.

Vietnam has been implementing the National Strategy for Marine Economic Development, with maritime, shipbuilding and logistics playing an important role. Meanwhile, the Netherlands has rich experience in these fields, therefore, the two nations share a huge cooperation potential cooperation.

The two countries have reached initial cooperation in customs, building search and rescue ships, and training cooperation agreements with Vietnam Maritime University, Ho Chi Minh City University of Transport, and on seaport research.

The two-way trade between Vietnam and the Netherlands has been growing steadily, with Vietnam having always enjoyed a trade surplus. Trade and investment cooperation between the two countries have also seen growth. The Netherlands is currently Vietnam’s largest export market in the EU.

By the end of 2017, the trade values between the two nations exceeded 7.77 billion USD. Vietnam mainly exports aquatic products, vegetables and fruits, cashew nuts, coffee, pepper, rice, chemical products, and plastics. The country majorly imports machinery, equipment, spare parts, auto parts, milk and dairy products, and pharmaceuticals from the Netherlands.

The Netherlands ranked 11th out of 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of 8.17 billion USD, becoming the biggest among EU investors in Vietnam.

Its notable projects are Mong Duong Power Plant, Phu My Power Plant, Pepsico Vietnam Company, and its capital investment per project averages about 27.1 million USD, doubling that of a foreign investment project in the country.-VNA