Netherlands-Vietnam Energy Forum Held in Hanoi

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HANOI – On June 17, 2014, the Netherlands-Vietnam energy forum was held in Hanoi.  The forum discussed the effective implementation of a 2011 memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries.

During the meeting, both governments expressed their determination to promote energy cooperation, according to Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Le Duong Quang.

In 2011, the then Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade, Vu Huy Hoang, and the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Maxime Verhagen, signed an MoU on energy at The Hague. This MoU stipulated that between 2015 and 2020, 300 billion euros would be invested in this sector: 200 billion for oil and gas and 100 billion for sustainable energy production. Dutch and Vietnamese enterprises, research institutions and the governments of both countries agreed to collaborate on the Advanced Energy Technology International (AETIN) initiative, which was officially launched on the same day as the agreement was signed. According to AETIN, the Netherlands’ oil and gas supply industry is ranked among the top three in the world.

RELATED: Vietnam and the United Kingdom to Strengthen their Economic Relationship

Speaking at this week’s meeting, Deputy Minister Duong Quang said Dutch energy businesses that specialized in high tech, oil and gas, petrochemical supply and renewable energy will find plenty of opportunities for cooperation in Vietnam. The market in Vietnam has huge oil and gas reserves and an increasing demand for energy.

The minister also stated that Vietnam can supply fuel for biomass production to Dutch renewable energy businesses, and added that the country has a high demand for human resources training in the energy sector, particularly oil and gas.

Duong Quang stressed that the Vietnamese government is committed to creating the best conditions for expanding cooperation in the energy field.

A History of Cooperation

Besides cooperation in the energy sector, the Netherlands and Vietnam have bilateral cooperation agreements in water management, climate change, and the sectors of agriculture, maritime industry, and transportation and logistics.

Within the EU, the Netherlands is the biggest investor in Vietnam and its third-biggest trading partner. In the past ten years, trade between the Netherlands and Vietnam has grown almost fourfold to US$3.6 billion. A relationship that used to be based on development cooperation has turned into one based on trade and investment.

During this year’s official visit by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to Vietnam on June 16 and 17, the two countries reinforced their energy agreement and also agreed to establish a strategic partnership following talks on agriculture and food security.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung described the two-day visit by his Dutch counterpart as significant for the continuing development of bilateral ties. He affirmed that Vietnam always attributes importance to strengthening relations with the Netherlands.

The two PMs also agreed to boost cooperation in economics, trade and investment. This is intended to create a favorable business environment, especially in prioritized areas such as climate change, water management, agriculture, energy, the maritime sector, logistics and shipbuilding.

Prime Minister Rutte stated that the Netherlands will support Vietnam in enhancing its comprehensive ties with the EU, and encouraged the European Commission (EC) to 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.

After the talks concluded, both ministers signed an agreement on Strategic Partnership on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

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