HCMC – A committee responsible for the establishment of the Vietnam-Netherlands Friendship Association in HCMC was introduced today, May 14, when the HCMC Union of Friendship Organizations (HUFO) held a ceremony to mark the 48th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Netherlands.
The event took place at the headquarters of the HUFO in downtown HCMC this morning.
Tran Trong Dung, chairman of the HCMC Journalists’ Association and head of the committee, said the establishment of the committee preparing for the establishment of the Vietnam-Netherlands Friendship Association in HCMC was the first step in the process of setting up the association.
The upcoming association would focus on helping promote and deepen Vietnam-Netherlands ties, especially economic, cultural, educational and environmental cooperation, Dung said.
Speaking at the ceremony, HUFO Vice Chairwoman Tran Hoang Khanh Van said that over the past 48 years, the two countries have seen stronger cooperation in multiple fields. In addition, many non-governmental organizations from the Netherlands have provided Vietnam with much-needed assistance in various sectors, such as healthcare, education, poverty alleviation and women’s development and empowerment.
The Netherlands is a major European trade partner of Vietnam with bilateral trade having expanded steadily over the years. Two-way trade in 2019 amounted to around US$8 billion, double that in 2014.
The two nations have also seen stronger sister relations between Vietnamese and Dutch cities, including Hanoi-Amsterdam, HCMC-Rotterdam and Binh Duong-Eindhoven.
HCMC is one of Vietnam’s leading localities to have solid cooperation ties with the Netherlands, especially in climate change adaptation and sustainable agricultural development.
It has also been active in global integration. Meanwhile, the Netherlands is the eighth largest foreign investor in HCMC with 153 projects worth nearly US$2 billion, HUFO Vice Chairwoman Van noted.
Speaking at the event, the consul general of the Netherlands in HCMC, Carel Richter, said the Netherlands is bolstering trade and investment cooperation with Vietnam, and also promoting sustainable development in Vietnam.
The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which was ratified last year, would help boost trade ties between the EU and Vietnam and between the Netherlands and Vietnam as the deal would create many new business opportunities. The Netherlands is not only the second largest EU trade partner of Vietnam but also Vietnam’s biggest EU investor, Richter said.
By Viet Dung