The Netherlands has pledged to assist Vietnam’s journey of developing offshore wind, the sector that Vietnam is believed to be the next gigawatt-size market in Asia.
The Netherlands stands ready to support Vietnam in improving the necessary legislative environment, in particular, a framework to facilitate offshore wind and direct power purchasing agreements by private companies, according to the Dutch Embassy in Hanoi.
The commitment was made during the ongoing visit paid to Vietnam by Netherlands Vice Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Hanneke Schuiling.
On this occasion, Vice Minister Schuiling compliments Vietnam on its commitment to the green transformation of the economy and to net-zero emissions in 2050. The offshore wind appears to be the most potential energy alternative contributing to the low carbon route in the country of a long coastline and vast area of waters.
Clean energy together with the circular economy are among key areas on agenda along with agriculture, water, logistics, and high tech during Schuiling’s two-day visit to Vietnam concluded on April 26.
|Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An (5th from left) and Netherlands Vice Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Hanneke Schuiling (6th from left) in Hanoi on April 25. Photo: MOIT|
Trade relations and potential
The key pillars are in line with the shared ambitious climate and green economic growth objectives set by the two countries which are both members of the EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
The Netherlands is the second-largest EU trade partner and the largest EU direct investor in Vietnam.
As it is in the interest of both countries to fully use the potential of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, the Netherlands is ready to cooperate with Vietnam in improving logistics, boosting sustainable trade, tackling climate change, and assisting in agricultural reform. At the same time, urban and climate challenges as well as pandemics like Covid-19 pose a need for closer cooperation for innovative and sustainable solutions.
In this regard, dialogues with ministerial leaders are aimed to advance the trade and investment relationship. During her visit, Schuiling had a meeting with Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An on April 25 to discuss the bilateral trade and investment agenda and the implementation of the EVFTA.
The Netherlands supports Vietrade and the Dutch Business Association in Vietnam to implement the “Ready to Export” program, which fosters the cooperation between Vietnamese and Dutch SMEs in the global value chains.
Vice Minister Schuiling offers further support to facilitate the implementation of the EVFTA in Vietnam, especially with the SMEs and multi-modular logistics solutions.
On this occasion, Schuiling and An discussed the significance of the Cai Mep Ha logistic center and deep seaport in boosting international trade, for which an EU-Vietnam consortium presents a solid business case involving US$1 billion of investments in the country. The Netherlands looks forward to the final approvals of Vietnam to start the project.
Notably, the two sides discussed the visa waiver program to enable business travel from the Netherlands.
|Netherlands Vice Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Hanneke Schuiling.|
In terms of investment, the Netherlands is Vietnam’s 5th biggest foreign investor.
On April 25, Schuiling joined a meeting with Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong. She congratulated MPI on the approval of the Mekong Delta Integrated Regional Masterplan, the first of its kind in Vietnam.
The Netherlands has invested EUR50 million in private and public-funded projects in the Mekong Delta. In early April, the Mekong Delta Business Forum held in Can Tho proved the strong presence of the Netherlands in the Mekong Delta.
A considerable increase in climate funding for Vietnam is said to be ahead as the Netherlands takes the leading role in the green transformation of the business sector. Both governments are expected to facilitate and enable a good business climate.
In addition, the Dutch Vice Minister offered the Netherlands’ support for the modernization of Vietnam’s procurement laws, in terms of funding and technical advice. Schuiling brought to her counterpart’s attention a scoping study that the Netherlands is currently conducting to develop Agro Business Hubs in the Mekong Delta. The Netherlands is eager to work with Vietnam and the World Bank on the development of Agro Business Hubs.
During her visit, Schuiling also met the Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, Phan Van Mai, emphasizing the ties between Ho Chi Minh City and Rotterdam in climate adaptation since 2009. The two parties jointly address the city’s challenges of urbanization and population growth and a need for smart and sustainable solutions.
Dutch experts and companies are keen on cooperating with Ho Chi Minh City on special planning, riverside area, flood protection scheme, green infrastructure, and sustainable mobility for Ho Chi Minh City.
|Overview of the Vietnam-Netherlands: Mekong Delta Business Forum held on April 8 in Can Tho, Vietnam. Photo: Thoidai|
Meeting with companies
As part of the visit, Schuiling met with up to 100 Dutch and Vietnamese female entrepreneurs in an inspiration session on women entrepreneurship. She emphasized the Netherlands’ commitment to join hands with Vietnam in creating the next steps to make Equal and Quality Participation of Women become the New Business As Usual.
In Haiphong, together with Vice Chairman of Hai Phong People’s Committee Hoang Minh Cuong, Schuiling attended the Delivery Ceremony of the Tan Cang 99 tugboat. After the launch of SPARKY, the world’s first fully-electric tugboat for the Port of Auckland, Tan Cang 99 is the first commercial vessel of Damen Song Cam for a Vietnamese client, Tan Cang Northern Marine.
During her visit to the VinFast manufacturing plant in Haiphong city, she met with the VinFast management team, applauding VinFast’s plan to open showrooms for its new fully electric vehicles in the Netherlands and highlighted that the Dutch Government is pleased to give its full support to VinFast’s operations in the country.
Her working agenda also included a visit to the factory of Friesland Campina Vietnam in the southern province of Binh Duong. In Ho Chi Minh city, Schuiling met representatives of Dutch businesses and the companies joining the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition – Vietnam chapter.
“Vietnam is an important partner of the Netherlands in Southeast Asia. I am delighted to see the strong presence of Dutch businesses in Vietnam, fueling Vietnam’s fast economic development and the recovery after Covid. I am particularly proud of the contributions of the Dutch business community to the green transformation of Vietnam’s economy,” says Vice Minister Schuiling.
The Netherlands and Vietnam have a long-lasting and trusted relationship. The two countries have established strategic partnerships in “Water & Climate Change Adaptation” and “Agriculture and Food Security”. The Netherlands is a gateway to Europe and Vietnam is a gateway to ASEAN. Vietnam and the Netherlands will celebrate their 50th year of diplomatic relations in 2023.