Ambassador Pham Viet Anh: 50 Years of Building Vietnam-Netherlands Relations Based on Equality
|Vietnamese Ambassador to the Netherlands Pham Viet Anh. (Photo: Vietnamese Embassy in the Netherlands)
On the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Netherlands (1973 - 2023), Ambassador of Vietnam to the Netherlands Pham Viet Anh shared about the achievements of the bilateral relations in the past half century and the potential for future cooperation.
How do you evaluate the Vietnam-Netherlands cooperation in the past 50 years?
In 2023, the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Netherlands passed a 50-year journey with important milestones and achievements for both sides. We can affirm that this is the model of the relationship between Vietnam and a European country - good, open, frank, effective.
The relationship between the two countries has taken an important turn to a new stage. In the past, Vietnam faced many difficulties due to the war and its consequences. The Netherlands helped Vietnam in many fields, even before establishing formal diplomatic relations. The relationship at that time was about giving and receiving. Recently, when Vietnam has made a lot of progress, the relationship has become equal cooperation, mutual effort, mutual benefit and win-win.
The Vietnam-Netherlands relationship has been continuously improved. The two sides soon realized the "cooperation opportunity" from the similarity of circumstances with the challenges of nature and climate change, the strategic geopolitical position.
That helps the two countries to gradually elevate their relationship to a Strategic Partnership in a number of areas, such as climate change adaptation, water management, sustainable agriculture and food security. Recently, from April 2019, on the occasion of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's visit to Vietnam, the two countries upgraded their relations to a Comprehensive Partnership.
From the goal of cooperation for the benefit of the two countries, Vietnam and the Netherlands have jointly realized the common challenges of humanity to share the same direction, cooperate for the future, for the survival of the earth.
At the end of 2022, on the occasion of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's official visit to the Netherlands, the two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in climate change adaptation, sustainable development and energy transformation.
For Vietnam, I think that cooperating and working with the Netherlands is a valuable opportunity to consult and learn how to think, approach problems, find solutions and implement them effectively.
Through 50 years of cooperation, Vietnam has learned a lot from the Netherlands, such as thinking about opening the economy, integrating, finding solutions to adapt to climate change, green energy transition, circular economy.
|Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte welcomed Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on December 12, 2022. (Photo: VNA)
With these achievements, what advantages and potentials do the two countries have to promote deeper cooperation in the future?
The achievements of the two countries during 50 years of cooperation are the foundation for the development in the future.
The closeness and similarity in perception lead to measures to cope with current global challenges. They are the continuation of the similarities in the situation and thinking of the two countries in the past. That is not to mention the harmony in the spirit of peace, justice and respect for universal values of humanity - which prompted the Dutch people to fervently support Vietnam's resistance against the US to save the country.
If we look further into the past, this 50-year journey is shorter than the relationship between the peoples of the two countries, much shorter than the 400 years of trade relations. The Dutch East India Company has traveled to Vietnam to buy goods and materials because of the attractiveness of Vietnamese and Southeast Asia culture and products. Currently, the geographical location as well as the need to complement each other is always a great potential for the relationship between the two countries.
Although the two countries have raised the level of a strategic partnership in some fields or a comprehensive partnership, the cooperation results have not been as desired by the two sides.
The cooperation projects have also achieved encouraging initial results compared with new requirements from global challenges, climate change, from the requirement of sustainable development that all countries must participate and cooperate.
In the international arena, the two countries still have a tradition of mutual support. The two countries' political relationship has built a certain level of trust to share views on multilateral forums. Therefore, bilateral coordination and cooperation on multilateral forums will generally bring about good results.
|The Ministry of Planning and Investment and Netherlands-Vietnam Agro-Business Cooperation Association signed the MoU on empowering Vietnamese small and medium enterprises on February 22, 2023. (Photo: Vietnamese Embassy in the Netherlands)
What should the two countries do to further develop bilateral relations in the future?
I believe that in any relationship, to strengthen and deepen cooperation, it is necessary to strengthen trust. Only with trust can we open up, give wholeheartedly, sincerely, substantively and effectively.
The two countries have had a longstanding trust. However, it is necessary to regularly exchange and consult at all levels, especially the high-level as well as localities to sympathize, understand each other better, trust and cooperate.
Secondly, to increase trust, the two sides had to deepen cooperation to bring more efficiency.
Economic cooperation between localities, organizations and research institutions, creating specific results, effectively serving the national development of each side will be the basis for increasing the level of economic cooperation, mutual trust, and mutual benefits.
To cooperate more effectively, the two countries need to jointly promote the available cooperation channels, but more specifically and at a higher level.
Accordingly, the two countries need to specify the objectives, measures, roadmap as well as assignment of implementation. It is necessary to specify the stages of inspection, supervision, review and evaluation.
Due to the highly open economy, Dutch localities and businesses have a large role in directly creating products. They have a high degree of autonomy, independence and flexibility. The Dutch communication culture is direct and specific. Therefore, when asking for cooperation, it is necessary to have enough information and approach to help visualize the cooperation results in advance.
|Ambassador Pham Viet Anh (centre) and Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Kees van Baar (right), Consul General of the Netherlands in Ho Chi Minh City Daniel Coenraad Stork met to discuss measures to promote bilateral relations on the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Photo: WVR
Vietnamese localities and businesses need to understand the strengths, orientations and strict requirements of the Dutch market.
They need to prepare their strengths, potentials, needs and orientations to successfully connect with Dutch partners in each locality, field, and industry. Therefore, cooperation will bring practical effects to both countries.
Vietnam and Netherlands have beefed up their sustainable development partnership in sustainable agriculture
Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang met leaders of international organisations and foreign officials on the sidelines of the 52nd regular session of the UN ...
The ceremony exemplified Vietnam as a partner that values its relationships with other nations and is committed to working together towards common goals.