Vietnam and the Netherlands agreed to establish a strategic partnership following talks on agriculture and food security between Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in Hanoi on Monday, Vietnam News Agency reported.
PM Dung hailed the two-day visit of his Dutch counterpart as significant for the continuing development of bilateral ties. He affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to strengthening relations with the Netherlands, one of its leading EU partners.
For his part, Rutte said the Dutch government and business community wish to further promote their cooperation in various areas with Vietnam.
The two PMs agreed to boost cooperation in economics, trade and investment and create favorable conditions for Vietnamese and Dutch businesses to seek investment opportunities, especially in prioritized areas such as climate change and water management, agriculture, energy, marine economy, logistics and shipbuilding.
The two sides agreed to expand cooperation in defense, science and technology, education and training, while regularly organizing cultural exchange programs in each country, thus strengthening mutual understanding between the two peoples.
Rutte promised to facilitate a “Vietnam Days in the Netherlands” event scheduled later this year.
He said his country will back Vietnam in enhancing its comprehensive ties with the EU, and encourage the European Commission (EC) to soon ratify a framework agreement on partnership and comprehensive cooperation (PCA) with Vietnam and recognize Vietnam as a market economy when negotiations for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement conclude.
PM Dung informed his guest of China’s illegal placement of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, saying it seriously violates 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.
China’s action directly threaten peace, stability, maritime security, safety and freedom in the East Sea, he said.
The Dutch PM expressed his deep concern about the current situation, confirming that the Netherlands shares its view with the EU’s Declaration on May 8 and the Statement of ASEAN Foreign Ministers on May 10, both saying that all concerned parties should exercise restraint and resolve their disputes by peaceful means in line with international law.
After the talk, the two PMs signed an agreement on the Strategic Partnership on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.
They also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation to develop the Son My liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Vietnam and a LNG purchase to supply the Thi Vai terminal between the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group and the Shell Group.
Source : Thanh Nien Daily | June 18, 2014
by Thomas D’Innocenzi