PM receives Dutch counterpart, vows strategic partnership on agriculture

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte review the Vietnamese guard of honour. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam and the Netherlands have agreed to establish a strategic partnership on sustainable agriculture and food security.

This followed talks yesterday between Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte.

Dung said that Viet Nam regarded the Netherlands as one of its leading European Union partners.

The two leaders said the friendship and co-operation between Viet Nam and the Netherlands had been positive, effective and dynamic in all aspects, evidenced by the establishment of a strategic partnership on climate change adaptation and water management in 2010.

They noted that both sides had increased the exchange of delegations at all levels, and created favorable conditions for business, especially in such priority areas as climate change, water management, agriculture, energy, marine economy, logistics services and shipbuilding.

The two sides agreed to expand co-operation in defence, science-technology and education-training while regularly organising cultural exchanges in each country.

Rutte said his country would help Viet Nam enhance ties with the European Union and encourage the European Commission (EC) to quickly ratify a framework agreement on partnership and co-operation with Viet Nam.

He also said he would help the EU recognise Viet Nam as a full market economy when negotiations for the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) were concluded.

Dung updated his guest about the China’s illegal placement of an oil rig in Viet Nam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, saying it seriously violated international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) to which China is a signatory.

Dung added this directly threatened peace, maritime security and freedom in the East Sea.

The Dutch PM expressed deep concern at the situation, confirming that the Netherlands agreed with an EU declaration and a statement by ASEAN Foreign Ministers that all parties should exercise restraint and solve disputes by peaceful means in line with international law.

Following their talks, the two leaders signed an agreement on a Strategic Partnership on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

They also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on developing the Son My liquefied gas terminal in Viet Nam and a contract on purchasing gas for the Thi Vai terminal between the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Corporation and the Netherlands’ Shell Group.

Presidential meeting

On the same day, the Dutch PM met President Truong Tan Sang, saying that the Netherlands wanted to promote its friendship with Viet Nam.

The Dutch leader said his country was willing to share experiences in climate change and water management, especially in the Mekong Delta – one of the most vulnerable areas in Viet Nam to environmental changes.

Sang said the Netherlands was one of its leading trading partners within the European Union.

He confirmed that Viet Nam would create optimal conditions for Dutch firms to do long-term businesses, specifically in agriculture, climate change, oil and gas, sea-based economy, shipbuilding and logistics.

The President also invited Dutch King Willem Alexander to visit Viet Nam in the near future.

Talks with NA leader

At another meeting with the Dutch PM, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung underscored that Viet Nam wished to promote trade and investment with the Netherlands.

He said Viet Nam hoped to nurture ties with the Netherlands, a nation with an important role in the European Union.

The Dutch PM said his visit aimed to further the sound political relations between the two countries as well as their all-round co-operation, especially in economics.

Both host and guest also reviewed the co-ordination between the two legislative bodies.

Hung then invited the Speakers of both Houses of the Dutch parliament to attend the 123rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Ha Noi next March.

To mark the occasion, the two sides adopted a joint statement on PM Rutte’s official visit to Viet Nam.