Royal visit underpins extension of investment ties

Vietnam and the Netherlands have expanded their ties in agriculture, water management, and logistics in port and aviation development, coupled with fostering digital and semiconductor cooperation.

The Netherlands Embassy to Vietnam last week announced that at the invitation of Vietnam’s State President Vo Van Thuong, the King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima shall pay a state visit to Vietnam on March 19-22.

As scheduled, King Willem-Alexander will have bilateral talks with President Thuong, and then have meetings with National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

“This visit is aimed to further cement cooperation between the Netherlands and Vietnam in various sectors boasting much development potential for both countries,” said Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Kees van Baar.

The royal couple will implement many different activities in Vietnam, including a visit to Damen Song Cam Shipyard and a launch of electric tugboats in the northern port city of Haiphong.

In the city, they will also visit a mangrove replanting project where they will speak with students from a university about a mobile living lab, which they have carried out in collaboration with the Dutch Delft University of Technology. The king and the queen will plant mangroves with the students.

In Ho Chi Minh City, where a Mekong Delta business forum and exhibition will be held, the Dutch king will witness the signing ceremony of business corporations. There will be panel discussions on the topics of salinity, connectivity, and digitalisation. Market information will be displayed for businesses.

Towards a sustainable and climate resilient Ho Chi Minh City with a focus laid on water management and port development, during a boat trip, the royal couple will speak with local authorities, port representatives, and experts about the challenges and solutions for water management and port development.

They will also have “a discussion with local authorities, as well as some Dutch and Vietnamese companies, knowledge institutions, and social organisations,” said a statement on the visit released by the Netherlands Embassy to Vietnam.

The Dutch king and queen will, in addition, fly to the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak to visit Cu Sue Cooperative and talk to local farmers on coffee and pepper integrated crops, and on the Netherlands’ support for the farmers to be able to comply with the EU Deforestation Regulations for coffee exports.

During the visit, Vietnam and the Netherlands will also carry out assorted activities to connect businesses of both economies in the sectors of agriculture, water management, and logistics in port and aviation development.

For example, in the agriculture sector, there will be a business conference on agrofood and horticulture focused on both sides working together towards sustainable food systems. Businesses and experts from the two counties will exchange solutions about agricultural outlook and solutions.

Additionally, in the Central Highlands city of Dalat, discussions will also take place on the development of the horticulture sector in Lam Dong province.

In port and aviation logistics development, businesses from both countries will have meetings, with some deals set to be inked.

“Vietnam and the Netherlands emphasise sci-tech and innovation as breakthrough fields in bilateral ties, while agreeing to maximise the potential for cooperation between the two countries in high technology, electronic circuit production, semiconductor devices, building digital platforms and telecommunications ecosystems, digital transformation, and human resource development in this field,” said Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Both nations have also agreed to expand cooperation in potential sectors such as exploration and sustainable exploitation of important minerals, defence security, customs, maritime, logistics, and people-to-people exchanges.”

Last November, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited Vietnam, accompanied by a business delegation consisting of 23 high-tech companies and organisations, and attended a high-tech business forum organised by the Dutch Embassy at Samsung’s research and development centre in Hanoi.

At the forum, international and local business partners shared their perspectives on the position of Vietnam in international high-tech value chains, as well as strategies and recommendations for nurturing Vietnamese talents

The Dutch businesses presented their innovative and smart solutions in a series of elevator pitches during the event. The companies also went on site visits in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to meet with local business partners to increase their understanding of the market and the business climate in Vietnam.

In an example, BESI was in October licensed at Saigon High-Tech Park to implement a project costing nearly $5 million for first-phase advanced electronic component production.

To save on time and soon put the project into operation, BESI foresees leasing ready-to-serve factory space From Q4 of 2023 to the end of 2024, BESI will complete assembly and labour recruitment, paving the way to begin production from 2025.

The Netherlands is the second-largest trade partner of Vietnam in Europe, with bilateral trade hitting $11.9 billion in 2022 – up 32 per cent on-year. The figure reached $6.94 billion in the first 10 months of 2023, with Vietnam’s exports of $8.3 billion and imports of $546 million.

The Netherlands is also the biggest EU investor in Vietnam, with 432 valid projects registered at $14.23 billion cumulatively as of February 20. The projects are mostly implemented in the southern region, involving names such as Heineken, Unilever, Royal Dutch Shell, FrieslandCampina, Akzo Nobel Coating, and Philips, among others.

Vietnam Investment Review