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VN-Netherlands Joint Statement touches upon East Sea developments

VGP - Viet Nam and the Netherlands on Monday issued a joint statement underlining the importance of maintaining peace and stability, maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and over-flight in the East Sea.

June 16, 2014 8:50 PM GMT+7

The following is the full statement:

At the invitation of Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte paid an official visit to Viet Nam from 16-17 June 2014.

During the visit, Prime Minister Mark Rutte held talks with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung; paid courtesy calls on President Truong Tan Sang and Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung; co-chaired the High-level Meeting on the Mekong River Delta Plan, attended the Energy Forum and the CEO Roundtable between businesses of both countries.

In the atmosphere of friendship, mutual trust and understanding, the Leaders of Viet Nam and the Netherlands informed each other of the developments in their countries, exchanged views on Viet Nam - Netherlands relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte applauded the achievements of Viet Nam in socio-economic development and external relations, which have contributed to the position of Viet Nam in the international arena. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung spoke highly of the successes achieved by the Dutch Government in overcoming the negative impacts of the world economic and financial crisis, bringing the Dutch economy back in the growth orbit. Socio-economic development in Viet Nam and the Netherlands would facilitate the strengthening of bilateral relations in the years to come.

Both sides highlighted that trust, bilateral friendship and cooperation have increased across all areas since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1973, particularly since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership on Climate Change Adaptation and Water Management in 2010. Both sides agreed to strengthen and intensify the bilateral relations in the interest of the two peoples, especially in prioritized areas such as climate change and water management, agriculture, energy, maritime economy and logistics. In that positive and forward looking spirit, both sides agreed to establish the Strategic Partnership on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security on this occasion.

Both sides noted with pleasure the positive development of the bilateral relations and agreed to increase the exchange of visits and meetings at all levels, including at high level, with a view to maintain sound political relation as the strong foundation for intensified cooperation in other areas. Both sides highly valued the cooperation between Viet Nam and the Netherlands in multilateral fora and international organizations; committed continued coordination and mutual support in the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and ASEAN-EU cooperation.

The Netherlands strongly supports the swift conclusion of an ambitious Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Viet Nam (EVFTA). This will also create opportunities for economic growth in Viet Nam and the Netherlands in sectors such as agriculture, services and investment. The EVFTA will complement the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) that is currently being ratified by EU member states and strengthen political and economic relations between the EU and Viet Nam. The long term objective remains a regional EU-ASEAN agreement.

The Netherlands highly appreciated the significant achievements of Viet Nam in deepening reforms and in its institutional completion of market economy.

Both sides endorsed common efforts to intensify economic, trade and investment cooperation, support and facilitate Vietnamese and Dutch businesses to explore business and investment opportunities in each respective country, and establish partnerships, especially in prioritized areas. Both sides appreciated the effective bilateral cooperation in the area of climate change and water management; reaffirmed close coordination to implement effectively the specific programs and projects under the framework of Strategic Partnership on Climate Change Adaptation and Water Management; agreed to organize the 4th session of Viet Nam – Netherlands Inter-Government Commission on Climate Change Adaptation and Water Management in the Netherlands in late 2014.

Both sides underscored the importance of cooperation in agriculture; committed to work together to effectively implement the “Agreement on Strategic Partnership on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security” signed during this visit. Both sides noted with satisfaction the effective cooperation between oil and gas companies of the two countries; welcomed the signing of the LNG Master Sale and Purchase Agreement for the Thi Vai LNG Receiving and Regasification Terminal and the Memorandum of Understanding for Collaboration on the Son My LNG Receiving and Regasification Terminal Project in Viet Nam; agreed to boost the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in energy, and oil and gas signed in 2011. Both sides expressed support for enhancement of bilateral cooperation in maritime economy in the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in maritime transport, sea port development, management and dredging signed in 2012. The Netherlands committed continued assistance to the shipbuilding industry of Viet Nam on the basis of mutually beneficial cooperation, and gradual transfer of shipbuilding technology to Viet Nam.

The Netherlands committed to maintain technical assistance, experience sharing and capacity building for Viet Nam in some key areas including  environment, agriculture, water management, profession oriented education and training through the cooperation programs between the two Governments (G2G), between the two countries’ businesses (B2B), universities and research institutes; the successful continuation of business support programs and the successful completion of the Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Development in Higher Education (NICHE).

To deepen the bilateral relations and strengthen mutual understanding between the two peoples, both sides agreed to organize frequent activities of trade, investment and culture promotion in each country. The Netherlands welcomed and committed to create favorable conditions for the successful organization of the “Viet Nam Days in Netherlands” in 2014. Both sides agreed to expand cooperation in the areas of national defense, justice, education and training, as well as cooperation at local levels.

Both sides expressed serious concerns over the on-going developments in the South China Sea (East Viet Nam Sea), which escalated tension in the region. The Netherlands reiterated its position in line with the EU Statement of 8 May 2014 and expressed support of the Statement by ASEAN Foreign Ministers on 10 May 2014 on the situation in the South China Sea; urged all parties concerned to observe the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), exercise self-restraint and refrain from actions that may undermine regional peace and stability, resolve disputes by peaceful means without resort to the threat of force or use of force.

Both sides underlined the importance of maintaining peace and stability, maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea, the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the need to soon achieve a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung expressed his belief that the official visit to Viet Nam of Prime Minister Mark Rutte will contribute to further deepening and broadening the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Viet Nam and the Netherlands, meeting the demands of each country, in the interest of the two peoples, for peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity of the region and the world.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed his gratitude for the warm and friendly welcome and hospitality that the Vietnamese side reserved for him and the delegation of the Government of the Netherlands./.