|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte sign a memorandum of understanding on agricultural transformation cooperation in the Mekong Delta (Source: VNA)
The following is the full text of the Joint Statement.
At the invitation of H.E Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, H.E. Mr. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, paid an official visit to Vietnam on 9 April 2019. During the visit, Prime Minister Mark Rutte held official talks with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, met with General Secretary, State President Nguyen Phu Trong and President of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
The official talks were held in an atmosphere of friendship, mutual trust and understanding. During the talks, the two leaders updated each other of developments in their respective countries, discussed ways and means to further advance the bilateral relations, and exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interests and concerns.
Both sides expressed satisfaction over the successive steps forward in the bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas from politics, diplomacy, economy, development cooperation, transport, logistics, agriculture, climate change adaptation, management and use of natural resources to education and training, and cultural exchange. Acknowledging the significance of the bilateral cooperation to both Vietnam and the Netherlands, both sides decided to upgrade their relationship to a comprehensive partnership, with a view to effectively harnessing their cooperation potentials, enabling the bilateral ties to expand and deepen with greater dynamism in all dimensions in the years to come.
Both sides recognised the importance of the high-level mutual visits, including Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to the Netherlands in 2017 and this official visit to Vietnam by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as well as regular exchanges between their ministries, agencies and localities to the promotion of the bilateral relations. The two Prime Ministers agreed to hold further high level meetings under bilateral and multilateral frameworks, while enhancing the effectiveness of their various mechanisms of sectoral cooperation.
Both sides welcomed the Agreement on Customs Cooperation and other agreements concluded as well as the results reached at the Vietnam - Netherlands Business Round Table held in Hanoi on the sidelines of the visit. They also welcomed the successful conclusion of the negotiations on the Agreement on the Gainful employment of family members of members of a diplomatic mission and/or consular post, which will be signed soon after the visit.
Both sides emphasised their shared commitment to inclusive and sustainable development as reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. Both sides reaffirm that this shared commitment towards inclusive, sustainable development is the main pillar of the Comprehensive Vietnam - Netherlands Partnership and welcome the contribution of responsible businesses, knowledge institutes, associations and NGO’s and the people of the two countries to the achievement of the SDGs.
Both sides reaffirmed that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and Investment Protection Agreement are important frameworks for further strengthening the economic, trade and investment relations in a sustainable and inclusive way between Vietnam and the EU as well as those between Vietnam and the Netherlands, meeting the interests of all parties and contributing to promotion of international trade liberalisation and the Sustainable Development Goals. Both sides also stressed the need of and expressed strong support for the signing and ratification of the Agreements in the coming months as well as their swift implementation, in line with the procedural requirements, for the materialization of their benefits.
Both sides reaffirmed that their Strategic Partnerships on Climate Change Adaptation and Water Management, and on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security had been productive and would remain pillars of their Comprehensive Partnership. They welcomed the outcomes of the 7th Session of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Climate Change adaptation and Water Management and the directions of their cooperation, especially regarding the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta, and agreed to collaborate on the coordination and implementation of Resolution 120, the design of the Development Fund for the Mekong Delta and on land subsidence. Other support and cooperation programmes, including the joint efforts to find possible solutions for coastal erosion in Hoi An, Quang Nam and flood prevention in Ho Chi Minh City, were welcomed and will be supported. Both parties expressed their political support for the Global Commission on Adaptation.
Both sides also agreed to maximise the achievements of the Strategic Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security and welcomed the outcomes of the 3rd Ministerial Meeting on implementation of the Strategic Partnership held on the occasion of the visit. They also agreed to implement cooperation programs, on the basis of their priorities and strengths, in such areas as plantation, animal farming, food safety management, smart agriculture, climate change adaptation, water quality etc. including cooperation in the development of smart agricultural areas and improvement of value chains for Vietnamese agricultural produce with emphasis on technology transfer and assistance from Dutch partners to stimulate mutual business opportunities. Sustainable and circular agriculture will be further taken into account in the cooperation programmes. The two parties specifically agreed on further cooperation on land consolidation and cooperatives. They also expressed their appreciation that the Netherlands had been invited as the Guest of Honour at the Ho Chi Minh City Food Expo which was held from November 14 to 17, 2018.
Both sides welcomed the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Cooperation on the Agricultural Transition in the Mekong River Delta between the two Governments including first class knowledge and expertise from amongst others the Wageningen University & Research to provide high quality technical assistance and to start several projects on value chain development. They underlined the link between water availability, water quality and the agricultural transition and welcomed the cooperation on the basis of the two Strategic Partnership Arrangements to deal with this challenge.
Both sides expressed their satisfaction that Vietnam and the Netherlands have always been each other’s important trading and investment partner and underlined the immense potentials and demands for continued cooperation in many other areas using a multi stakeholder approach, particularly in circular economy and agriculture, renewable energy, environmental protection, urban development and building of smart cities, ocean economy, sea transport, shipbuilding logistics, management of sea ports and airports, aviation, training and research and education. They will work together and continue to share experiences in order to create favourable conditions for investment and business activities between their companies and partners.
Both sides noted with satisfaction the cooperation between and among their municipal authorities in recent years, and welcomed the linkages and exchanges between Hanoi and Amsterdam, Ho Chi Minh City and Rotterdam as well as between their other municipal authorities. Both sides valued their cultural and artistic exchanges, particularly those in 2018 in celebration of the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic relations that contributed to better mutual understanding between the two peoples. They also noted with delight the bilateral cooperation programs in environmental conservation and preservation.
Both sides underlined their shared views on international and regional issues as well as their support for strengthening effective multilateral cooperation, respect for international rule of law and trade liberalisation. They also expressed their commitment to further enhance their collaboration on addressing global issues, including on the promotion of the UN’s central role for peace, international security, on sustainable development and on the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Both countries reaffirmed their commitments made in Paris to put forward their best efforts through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead. Furthermore, they expressed their willingness to strengthen bilateral cooperation, by exchanges of experience and support to each other in the transfer of technology for climate adaptation and reduction of greenhouse gases, in accessing funds for climate. They will enhance the cooperation for the participating in UN peacekeeping operations.
Both sides acknowledged the importance of the promotion of the rule of law and human rights, both of which, taking into account characteristics of each country, are essential for sustainable development, security and stability. They highlighted their exchanges on the promotion of gender equality and the implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Prime Minister Mark Rutte looks forward to future cooperation between two sides in the field of equal rights for Lesbian, Gays, Transgender, Bisexual and Intersex (LGBTI) persons.
Both sides expressed their support to efforts to build a strong and prosperous ASEAN Community and further step up the ASEAN-EU cooperation towards a future strategic partnership. Cooperation between the two most successful regional organizations sends a strong signal in favour of effective multilateralism and international rule of law, also when dealing with global issues. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of peace, security, and stability in the South China Sea, and respect for the maritime order based on international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), including freedoms of navigation and overflight. Both sides expressed support for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the ongoing efforts by ASEAN countries and China towards the early conclusion of an effective Code of Conduct for the South China Sea that would be fully consistent with international law in the maritime domain, as reflected in UNCLOS. All sides shall settle disputes by peaceful means, refrain from threat or use of force, and abstain from any actions that may increase tensions or complicate the disputes. The two sides aim to strengthen cooperation in training and education, exchanges of experts and research institutes of the two countries in the fields of international law, especially the Law of the Sea.