Vietnam is ready to cooperate with Dutch businesses, especially in the fields of oil and gas, banking, seaports and shipbuilding, and climate change response, affirmed Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

“Vietnam will create all favourable conditions for Dutch businesses to expand their investment in the country,” the Government leader said at a reception for Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife, Princess Maxima, in Hanoi on March 28.

Applauding a 90-strong business delegation accompanying the Prince and Princess to seek investment opportunities in Vietnam , Dung said the Netherlands is now a leading European investor in the Southeast Asian country with a total investment of around 5 billion USD.

The two countries still see great potential for cooperation despite their two-way trade reaching 2 billion USD in 2010, he added.

The PM thanked the Dutch government for its assistance to Vietnam’s climate change response programme and suggested the Dutch government continue support for Vietnam in implementing this especially important programme.

He also expressed his thanks to the Netherlands for granting ODA to Vietnam , saying that the source of capital has been effectively used in the country.

He said he wished the Dutch government would continue granting ODA to Vietnam in the future, especially for climate change response projects.

For his part, Prince Willem-Alexander said that the Netherlands attaches importance to developing cooperation with Vietnam , reflected in the large number of businesses in the delegation.

The Prince said he was pleased with the two countries’ effective cooperation in building a climate change response scenario and a water management programme.

He expressed his belief that the two governments will support their businesses in implementing investment activities.

On the same day, the Dutch Crown Prince and Princess were received by State President Nguyen Minh Triet, who reiterated Vietnam’s policy of providing the best available conditions for businesses from the Netherlands, which is Vietnam’s fourth largest export market in Europe, to expand operations in the country on a long-term basis.

The Crown Prince told Triet that Dutch businesses are interested in working with Vietnamese partners in the areas of water resources, agriculture, shipping logistics, shipbuilding, oil and gas and micro-finance.

Earlier, the Dutch royal couple met with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem, who told them that Vietnam planned to boost comprehensive cooperation with the Netherlands , especially in climate change and water management, agriculture, marine economy and navigation, oil and gas industry and logistics.

Both host and guest pledged to support each other in boosting relations with the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Also on March 28, the Dutch business delegation worked with a delegation of the Vietnamese Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development led by Minister Cao Duc Phat.

At the working session, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander affirmed that agriculture has been a key area of cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands .

Minister Phat thanked the Dutch government and people for their effective assistance to Vietnam in the agricultural sector, especially in science and technology, human resource training, disaster prevention and climate change.

According to Henk Bleker, Dutch Minister of Agriculture and Foreign Trade, Vietnam and the Netherlands signed a strategic partnership agreement on climate change adaptability and water management in October, 2010.

Over the past 10 years, agricultural cooperation between the Netherlands and Vietnam has made great strides and in the future, the relations would be further developed.

During the Dutch delegation’s five-day visit to Vietnam from March 27, three letters of intent on irrigation, cultivation, breeding and veterinary cooperation are expected to be signed between the two countries./.