In his speech opening the function, Deputy PM Dung expressed his delight at the growing bilateral relations in the past 44 years and noted the elevation of the ties to strategic partnership on climate change adaptation and water management. The two countries have turned climate change challenges into cooperation opportunities in agriculture, water management and education-training, he added.
Dung took the occasion to thank the Dutch Government for helping Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region design the path for sustainable development, better manage local natural resources, and reduce the region’s vulnerability.
He said Vietnam welcomes further financial and technical assistance from the Netherlands to address urgent issues, such as the building of a national database on environment and natural resources, the prevention of drought and saline intrusion, the management of water supply and drainage, the use of underground water and the erosion and sinking of river banks and coastal lines.
Minister Melanie Schultz lauded positive outcomes of joint projects between the two countries, particularly those carried out last year, which have contributed significantly to the mitigation of climate change impacts on the Mekong Delta.
Highlighting the importance of the Mekong Delta Plan (MDP), she affirmed that the Netherlands is willing to support and transfer technologies to help develop the region sustainably, and join hands with Vietnam in tackling climate change challenges. She pointed to the fact that a number of Dutch companies, which are experienced in dredging and erosion prevention, and research institutes want to form partnerships with Vietnam.
At the meeting, the two sides reviewed the implementation of agreements reached at the previous meeting in March last year, and discussed in details orientations to carry out the MDP, the NICHE (Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Development in Higher Education) and ORIO (facility for infrastructure development) programmes, and projects related to bilateral cooperation in business, trade and agriculture, and links between their localities.
The two sides highlighted the success of the MDP, especially the two projects funded by the World Bank, which helped promote the region’s socio-economic development in a sustainable manner. They stressed that the MDP is an example for regional countries to learn from, and affirmed the inseparable connection between agriculture and water as well as between agriculture and the future of the Mekong Delta.
The meeting agreed on further measures to promote sustainable development in connection with rural development in the region, and create opportunities for regional residents to access knowledge, experience and technologies. The two sides agreed to create favourable conditions for preparing financial plans for projects.
The meeting heard that the NICHE and ORIO programmes of the Netherlands in the field of education importantly contributed to implementing a strategic partnership agreement between the two countries, helping Vietnam improve its capacity in water management, climate change adaptation, agriculture and maritime transport.
Participants also hailed cooperation between Ho Chi Minh City and Rotterdam in adapting to climate change, as well as the partnership between Hanoi and Amsterdam in improving the environment in To Lich river, and in making a water resources planning for the Hong and Thai Binh rivers’ basin for 2020-2039 with a vision to 2050.
They underlined the great potential for Vietnam and the Netherlands to continue cooperation within the programme of water and agriculture geographical data in Vietnam. The two sides agreed to discuss and promote new cooperation plans on the basis of Vietnam’s potential, and traditional strengths of the Netherlands.
Relevant ministries, sectors and localities of both countries will proactively deploy programmes and projects related to climate change adaptation, towards turning the cooperation into an outstanding model for cooperation among countries worldwide in the field. Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung and Minister Melanie Schultz signed the minutes of the meeting, agreeing that the 7th event will be held in Hanoi next year.