Netherlands,Vietnam still on same path in next 50 years: Ambassador
The year2023 was an important milestone in the Vietnam-Netheralnds relations as the two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.
Ambassador of the Netherlands to Vietnam Kees van Baar__Photo: VNA

The year 2023 was an important milestone in the Vietnam-Netheralnds relations as the two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.

On the occasion of New Year 2024 and Vietnam’s Traditional New Year (Tet), Ambassador of the Netherlands to Vietnam Kees van Baar told the Vietnam News Agency about the Vietnam - Netherlands relations in the past 50 years and the prospect of their bilateral cooperation relations in the coming time, particularly in fields where the Netherlands has strength like green transition or high tech.

According to Ambassador Kees van Baar, the two countries’ relations are multifaceted and strong and continue to develop and grow. The Netherlands and Vietnam have supported each other in good and bad times and became trusted partners. The Netherlands started as Vietnam’s development partner 50 years ago but now the Netherlands is the biggest trade and investment partner of Vietnam in Europe.

“I think in the next 50 years, we will go on the same path. There's much more focus now on the green transition of the economy, climate change, and the shift to renewable energy sources,” the Ambassador stressed.

Ambassador Kees van Baar noted that besides such main things, another one, as both Prime Ministers of the two countries said, is high tech which should also help the two countries promote electric vehicles and green transition.

“Vietnam is very eager to attract Dutch businesses, and Dutch businesses also like Vietnam, so it's mutual. There's good cooperation. Dutch businesses in Vietnam also produce for the Vietnamese market such as Heineken, FrieslandCampina, and Damen Shipyards. They are different from a business that just imports, assembles, and exports,” Ambassador Kees van Baar said.

Regarding the Netherlands’ support to Vietnam in climate change response and Vietnam’s efforts in this field, Ambassador Kees van Baar said that the Netherlands’ cooperation with the provinces in the Mekong Delta is important.

“A Vietnamese delegation came to the Netherlands in June, and it was a fruitful visit during which the two sides discussed how to sustainably develop in the Delta. The Mekong Delta is facing a few challenges, including land subsidence and saltwater intrusion, which are also issues in the Netherlands,” he said.

According to him, when it comes to climate challenges, it’s necessary to see where to adapt and where to mitigate. To adapt to it, one measure for example is changing from rice cultivation to aquaculture or fruit production, or developing rice crops that can grow in more brackish water.

“The speeches of the Vietnamese Prime Minister at COP26 (The 2026 United Nations Climate Change Conference), as well as COP28 in Dubai, are excellent,” he said, emphasising that the Netherlands is ready to work together with Vietnam to realise those plans when it comes to implementation stage.

Assessing Vietnam’s post-pandemic economic recovery in 2023, Kees van Baar said that Vietnam has done very well, compared to some of its neighbours, and the country can be applauded on that one.

“I think what is needed right now, as Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh mentioned as well, is the investment in public infrastructure, power plants, renewable energy, and also roads and ports. You have economic development and you can develop much more,” the Ambassador said, adding that the Vietnamese Government should step up public investment in infrastructure, which couldn't be carried out by the Government itself, but with the engagement of private partners in public-private partnership.

He noted that Vietnam can attract even more businesses and investments. It's very important that the country has a “one-stop shop” to support businesses. If Vietnam would have that, it will be very attractive to foreign investors.

Talking about his feelings as Vietnam’s Traditional New Year (Tet) is approaching, Kees van Baar stressed that this year is the Year of Dragon. When it comes to dragon, people usually think about prosperity and power.

“When it comes to prosperity, I think Vietnam has all the elements in it to be a prosperous country even if the market demand worldwide is going down. Vietnam can attract a lot of investment because a lot of businesses now don't want to be dependent on one country to produce their goods. That is what we've seen during the pandemic. If you produce your goods in one country, and that country goes into a lockdown, you have a problem. So you have to spread your risks,” he said.

“Vietnam can profit from that because Vietnam showed the world how well it handled the COVID-19 crisis and how well it recovered from it. Vietnam took the right measures,” the Ambassador underlined.

On the occasion of New Year, Ambassador Kees van Baar wishes all Vietnam News Agency readers a great Tet, a splendid start to another thriving new year of the dragon.-(VNA/VLLF)

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