RELATIONS VIETNAM - HOLAND:
VIETNAM - NETHERLANDS RELATIONS
I. POLITICAL TIES:
The bilateral relations was established in April 9th 1973. Since 1990, the relations between Vietnam and the Netherlands have been boosted in term of exchange of high-level visits:
Vietnamese visits to the Netherlands:
+ January 1995 Deputy Prime Minister Phan Van Khai
+ October 2001 Prime Minister Phan Van Khai
+ September 2008 Vice Chairman of National Assembly Huynh Ngoc Son
+ September 2008 Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Gia Khiem
+ April 2009 Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong
+ May 2009 Secretary of HoChiMinh City Party Committee Le Thanh Hai
+ April 2010 Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung
+ 2010 Viec Chairman of National Assembly Tong Thi Phong
Dutch visits to Vietnam:
+ June 1995 Prime Minister Wim Kok
+ October 2005 Prince of Orange Willem Alexander
+ September 2006 Development Minister Agnes van Argenne
+ March 2008 Trade Minister Frank Heemskerk and Minister for
Cooperation and Development Minister Bert Koenders
+ July 2009 Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Madamme Gerda Verburg
+ October 2009 Minister of State of Transportation, Public Works and Water
Managemnet Madamme Stas Huizinga
The two Prime Ministers also met in the sideline meeting of the important Summit including the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change in December 2009; the G20 Summit in Toronto in June 2010, the ASEM-8 Summit in Brussels in October 2010.
In its term of EU rotating presidency, the Netherlands made positive contributions to strenghthening cooperation with Vietnam, for instance, coordinating with Vietnam in successfully hosting ASEM5 in Hanoi.
II. COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT:
The Netherlands has provided ODA for Vietnam since the 1970’s, starting mainly in education and healthcare.
Before September 1999, The Netherlands’ assistance focused on: Forest Conservation and Biodiversity, healthcare, undergraduate education and environment. The Netherlands always puts Vietnam in its priority list of ODA recipients. Its ODA fund for Vietnam has constantly been on the rise. The Dutch ODA fund for Vietnam has continously increased from 25-27 million euro annually in the 2000-2005 period to 36 million euro annually in 2006-2008 period. The Netherlands promised to donor Vietnam $ 30.49 million for 2009 and $ 31,65 million for 2010 concentrating on some priority areas: Forest Conservation and Biodiversity, healthcare, water managemnet and inter-sectoral issues like poverty elimination, gender and development, governance…
The Netherlands listed Vietnam in a group of middle-income countries, leading to its adjustment of its ODA policy. Accordingly, development cooperation constitutes a part of the agenda but no longer a high priority.
In March 12th 2009, The Netherlands announced its programme named ‘Facility for Insfrastructure Development ’ (ORIO), providing assistance for 45 developing countries including Vietnam with the initial budget of 180 million euro aimed at helping developing countries and their business communities build and implement big infrastructure projects. For Vietnam, ORIO will fund 50% of the total investment in the development phase and 35% in the implementation, operation and maintenance phase of the projects in such sectors as water, social services and energy.
The Netherlands Initiative for Capacity development in Higher Education (NICHE) is a new cooperation replacing the Dutch Programme for the Institutional Strengthening of Post Secondary Education and Training (NPT), in which the Dutch government will fund 18 million euro for the post secondary education and training projects in such areas as : i/ water management and climate change adaption (9 million Euro) ; ii/ maritime transport (3 million euro), iii/ profession-oriented higher education ; iv/ health care.
In 2008, the Netherlands regarded Vietnam as one of five countries most vulnerable to climate change. In this regard, the Netherlands has paid much attention to promoting cooperation, experience exchange and support for Vietnam in adaption to climate change and water management. In April 2010, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung paid a working visit to the Netherlands with a view to studying and exchanging experiences in these areas. On this occasion, the two sides agreed to boost the development cooperation in the areas related to climate change. In the sideline meeting of the ASEM-8 Summit, the two Prime Ministers signed the Strategic Partnership Arrangement on Climate Change Adaption and Water Management, providing an important legal basis for the bilateral cooperation in this area.
III. TRADE RELATIONS:
The trade relationship between Vietnam and the Netherlands has witnessed robust growth over the recent years. Since 2002, Vietnam’s export to the Netherlands began to increase with the annual growth rate of 15%. The two-way trade volume has risen by 15 times from 110 million USD in 1999 to nearly 1.7 billion USD in 2007, to over 2 billion USD in 2008, to around 1.7 billion USD in the in 2009 and to approximately 1.8 billion USD in the first 10 months of 2010. At present, the Netherlands is the fourth biggest European trade partner of Vietnam
The key Vietnamese export commodities to the Netherlands are footwear, garment and textile, cashew nuts, black pepper, coffee, seafood, vegetable and wood stuff.
The main imports from the Netherlands include dairy and dairy products, medicine and medical ingredients, steel, plastic materials, animal feeding, chemicals…
Up to now, the Netherlands has invested in over 230 projects in Vietnam with the total registered investment of 5.32 billion USD. The Dutch projects are mainly located in the southern provinces of HCMC, Ba Ria Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Duong…Apart from some oil and gas and beverage projects, other projects are of medium and small sizes.
There are some successful projects of big corporations, such as Heineken (producing Heineken, Tiger and Bivina), Unilever (washing products, cosmetics and Wall ice cream), Royal Dutch Shell (crude oil- both drilling and distribution), Foremost (diary), Akzo Nobel Coating (medicinal chemistry), Philips (electronics),...
Vietnamese companies have not invested any projects in the Netherlands yet.
V. COOPERATION ON EDUCATION AND TRAINING:
The two countries have witnessed progresses in cooperation in education and training. The Netherlands has assisted Vietnam in some projects like Inter-University Vietnam-Netherlands Programme, the Netherlands Scholarship programme (about 25 scholarships for short courses annually)… In May 2001, NUFFIC collaborated with Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training organized the graduate education fair in Hanoi. In August 2002, the Netherlands listed Vietnam among those countries that recieved preferential treatments in education cooperation.