Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s upcoming visit to Denmark at the invitation of Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen is expected to help boost the comprehensive partnership between the two countries.
Vietnam and Denmark officially established diplomatic ties on November 25, 1971. In 1980, Denmark opened its embassy in Hanoi and Vietnam inaugurated its embassy in Copenhagen in 2000. Since then, the bilateral relationship has developed intensively and extensively across fields.
2018 marks the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam-Denmark comprehensive partnership. The two countries have coordinated closely and effectively at multilateral forums, especially the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the ASEAN-EU framework.
Two-way trade reached US$664.6 million in 2017. Vietnam exports garments-textiles, footwear, timber products, metals, handicrafts, electric equipment and coffee to Denmark, while importing dairy products, equipment and machines, chemicals, pharmaceutical products and seafood from the country.
Denmark is one of the first North European countries to invest in Vietnam. The country ranks 26th out of 129 countries and territories making investment in the Southeast Asian nation with 132 projects valued at more than US$686 million.
These projects mainly focus on processing and manufacturing industry; transport and warehouse; wholesale, retail and repair; science-technology; and agro-forestry-fishery.
The most outstanding projects include the Cai Mep International Terminal worth US$268.6 million, the US$79.6 million Southeast Asia beer factory, and 50 million USD Nisan Vietnam Ltd., Co. specialising in wholesale, retail and repair services. However, Vietnam businesses have yet to invest in Denmark.
Denmark is also one of the first Western nations to provide development assistance to Vietnam and among the biggest providers of non-refundable official development assistance (ODA) capital.
Since 1972, the country has funnelled more than 1 billion USD in ODA into Vietnam, about US$64 million each year, focusing on infrastructure development, poverty reduction, sustainable development, administrative reform, environmental protection and support of small-and medium-sized enterprises. Most Danish-funded projects are implemented in the northern, Central Highlands and central regions.
Of note, Denmark is Vietnam’s biggest donor in climate change, with up to US$40 million poured into programmes on climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Besides, Denmark has helped Vietnam implement its national target programme on climate change with about 20 projects in localities, and closely coordinated with Vietnam in the Global Green Growth Forum.
The two sides inked a letter of intention on cooperation between their education ministries in September 2009, and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on educational cooperation at the ministerial level in December 2010. They established a joint working group to materialise the MoU in June 2011.
PM Phuc’s Denmark visit is part of his trip to Europe to attend the 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM 12) and the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 Summit (P4G) in Australia, and visit several European nations and the European Union from October 14-21.