Official visit of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands H.E. Mr. Mark Rutte to Vietnam

Hanoi, 8 April – On the invitation of Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands H.E. Mr. Mark Rutte, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Ms. Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, the State Secretary for Finance Mr. Menno Snel and Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Ms. Marjolijn Sonnema will pay an official visit to Vietnam this week. The official government delegation is accompanied by a large Dutch business delegation with more than 70 companies under the leadership of the President of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) Hans de Boer. The visit aims to further expand and deepen the strong bilateral ties between Vietnam and the Netherlands.

The visit started on the 7th of April and lasts until the 12th of April 2019. It will take place in Hanoi, Danang, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City. The Dutch companies that are travelling with the official delegation focus on the agri- and horticulture, water, logistics and offshore wind energy sectors. The theme of the visit is ‘Sustainable Development Goals: Everybody’s business!’ and focuses on Responsible Business Conduct, as the Dutch – Vietnamese cooperation aims at promoting sustainable, inclusive development that enhances the wellbeing of everyone and takes the need to protect the environment into account. The Netherlands is convinced that Responsible Business Conduct is the only business case that is economically viable in the long run. Fostering sustainable and inclusive development will enable Vietnam to realise its full economic potential. The Netherlands is therefore committed to deepen and broaden the cooperation with Vietnam in different economic sectors and together contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Prime Minister Rutte to meet Prime Minister Phuc, President Trong and Chairwoman of the National Assembly Ngan

Prime Minister Rutte will visit Vietnam on Tuesday 9 April. He will have a meeting with Prime Minister Phuc to discuss the further strengthening of bilateral relations and the importance of the rule of law and human rights for economic development, security and stability as well as collaboration in regional and multilateral forums. They will also talk about the possibilities to intensify trade between both countries and to deepen cooperation in water management and food security. In addition, a treaty and a number of contracts and agreements that aim to further deepen economic ties, accelerate climate adaption, improve food security and foster sustainable development in Vietnam will be signed in the presence of both heads of state. A Joint Statement will be issued and both Prime Ministers will make a statement. Subsequently, Prime Minister Rutte will meet with the President of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong and the Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

After that, Prime Minister Phuc will host a dinner for Prime Minister Rutte, his official delegation and members of the business delegation. Finally, Prime Minister Rutte will open the sustainable fashion show Walk the talk! This fair wear spectacle showcases how the Vietnamese and Dutch government, companies and organizations collaborate to foster Responsible Business Conduct in the garment industry. It is co-organised with the Hanoi People’s Committee, Fair Wear Foundation and NextGEN. Everyone is invited to this public event at Ly Thai To Parc in Hanoi at 20.15 hours.

Adapting and mitigating climate change and managing water sources together

In the meantime, Minister van Nieuwenhuizen will meet in Hanoi with the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Minister for Planning and Industry, Minister of Transport and Vice-Minister of Industry and Trade. The talks will focus on deepening the collaboration to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change in Vietnam. The Minister offers support for the implementation of Vietnamese policies and the development of new policies. She discusses opportunities to improve water logistics, for example with inland waterways in the Mekong Delta and the modernisation of seaports and airports. On Wednesday 10 April, the Minister visits Hoi An where a consortium of Dutch and Vietnamese companies have developed a plan to protect the vulnerable beach of Hoi An against erosion. This plan is currently being discussed with the government in order to sustainably protect the coast against degradation by means of an artificial island in the sea in the future.

The Minister’s program of 11 April focuses mainly on water issues in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. The people in this city and the farmers in the Delta face problems daily as there is too much, too little or too dirty water. Being a delta country with a long sea shore itself, the Netherlands collaborates with Vietnam to share its knowledge on how to manage water with all stakeholders involved and live with (changing) nature. During the Minister’s visit, Dutch expertise about how to finance water management initiatives to prevent flooding will be shared. Special focus will be given to private sector financing and the need for the government to give the right concessions to financers to be able to earn back their investment in the future. Therefore, the water business community will be linked to the financing community during a seminar called “Diverting money flows to water”. The Minister will also discuss a Public Private Partnership proposal for flood prevention and solutions for land subsidence with the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee. The aim is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between Vietnam and the Netherlands on this subject.

In Ho Chi Minh City the Minister will also meet students from the ASEAN region, the Netherlands and Vietnam who are working on solutions for sustainability challenges that  Dutch companies face in Vietnam. During a boot camp of three weeks - called the Orange Asian factory - the students will develop solutions for these challenges. In addition,  a special meeting  with start-ups who are contributing to the SDGs will be held in Ho Chi Minh City, to give extra attention to the need for Responsible Business Conduct contributing to the SDGs. Finally, the Minister will engage with the leaders of four drinking water companies that are being strengthened by Dutch experts.

Collaboration to foster sustainable agriculture development

Vietnam and the Netherlands signed a Strategic Partnership Arrangement to create a framework for long-term bilateral cooperation in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in 2014. During the visit, both countries will commit to deepen the cooperation in inclusive value chain development, post-harvest handling and preservation, food safety, land consolidation and access to finance. Amongst others, the Prime Ministers will sign an official Memorandum of Understanding to promote the cooperation on the agricultural transition in the Mekong River Delta between Vietnam and the Netherlands. In the Mekong River Delta, agriculture is currently focused on rice production, which is not sustainable and profitable in the long run because of salinity intrusion. The Netherlands therefore supports Vietnam to adapt to climate change by diversifying agricultural production. Vice-Minister Sonnema will also lead a visit to FrieslandCampina Vietnam in Ha Nam province for the “Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security” project, launch a Sustainable Shrimp Development Cluster and open the HortiFuture Expo in Ho Chi Minh City.

Customs treaty to stimulate further growth of the trade between Vietnam and the Netherlands

On Tuesday 9 April, State Secretary for Finance Mr. Snel will sign a customs treaty with Vietnam. The mutual trade volume has intensified in the last few years to almost 6 billion euros. Because of the customs treaty, both countries can share information with each other much faster and easier, which increases the accuracy of the customs agencies in determining which goods require checking. This treaty will hence stimulate further growth of the trade between the Netherlands and Vietnam. The State Secretary will also visit the headquarters of the Vietnamese customs agency to discuss customs- and tax issues and the prevention of tax evasion with the business community and government. Finally, the State Secretary will highlight existing possibilities of finance for sustainable projects, through export credit insurances.

For more information, please contact:

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vietnam
Ms. Pham Van (VN) or Ms. Anouk Baron (EN)
Address: 7th floor, BIDV tower, 194 Tran Quang Khai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Email: &