|Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Netherlands yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Chung
THE HAGUE (VNS) — Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte yesterday formalised an agreement for closer bilateral co-operation on a number of key economic and environmental concerns.
The agreement was formalised at a meeting here on the first day of Hai's four-day visit to the Netherlands from September 22 to 24. Areas of co-operation under the agreement include climate change, water management, agriculture, energy and marine-based economic activities such as logistics and shipbuilding.
Bilateral ties between the two countries were built on a strategic partnership on sustainable agriculture and food security that had been in place since June, and will encompass an exchange of visits at different levels and scientific-technological co-operation between numerous localities of the two countries.
Rutte said the Dutch government and businesses were keen on fostering comprehensive collaboration with Viet Nam and were supporting the country's efforts to enhance ties with the European Union. In reply, Hai said Viet Nam had always wished for closer ties with the Netherlands, which it considered to be one of its top partners in Europe.
Both host and guest agreed to hold more frequent cultural exchanges, with Rutte praising the annual "Viet Nam Days in the Netherlands." Since the strategic partnership between the two countries on climate change response and water management was set up in 2010, Viet Nam and the Netherlands have seen their efforts bear fruit, the two leaders noted.
On the same day, Hai and Melanie Schultz, Dutch minister of infrastructure and the environment, co-chaired the fourth meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Climate Change and Water Management. At the meeting, Hai and Schultz pledged to accelerate the implementation of priority projects and to call for more foreign funding for the Mekong Delta plan.
They also agreed that the committee would focus on a set of sustainable and climate-proof urban management practices and conduct research on retaining water in the Mekong Delta in 2015.
Both sides also discussed details of a water resources master plan for the Red River basin.
At the end of the meeting, Schultz and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Thai Lai signed a memorandum of understanding on the master plan.
The fifth meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Climate Change and Water Management will take place in Ha Noi next year. During his visit, Hai is will meet Amsterdam Mayor E.E. Van der Laan to officiate the "Viet Nam Days in the Netherlands" and the Viet Nam-Netherlands economic co-operation forum. — VNS