Dutch Vice Minister for Agriculture MarjolijnSonnema said the Netherlands and Vietnam are very similar countries as both have deltas and are major producers andexporters of agricultural products.
She is leading a trade mission comprising 20Dutch companies and knowledge institutions to Vietnam from March 20 to 23 to explore businessopportunities.
In 2014 the two countries signed a StrategicPartnership Arrangement to create a framework for long-term cooperation inSustainable Agriculture and Food Security.
Many Dutch companies are operating in Vietnam and“many other Dutch companies and institutions intend to trade foods and exchangeknowledge and technology with Vietnam,”Marjolijn said.
“Hopefully we can continue our trading traditionand make it even more beautiful by cooperating on knowledge and technology,which can help a lot to improve quality and efficiency in agriculture.”
Tom Kompier of the Dutch embassy in Hanoi said the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta playsan important role in Vietnam’s agricultural production, but is facing challenges, including vulnerability toclimate change, changes in river flows, sea-level rise, salinity, landsubsidence and construction of upstream dams.
Saving the delta from climate change, upstreamdevelopments and unsustainable practices is ultimately a question ofagricultural development, which requires a large-scale transformation ofcurrent practices, major investment and providing farmers with knowledge ofmarkets, he said.
The forum also saw presentations on varioustopics such as possible high-yield crops in salty and dry soil like in thedelta, sustainable pepper production in BinhPhuoc provinceand demand for education in the agricultural sector.
According to an executive of the East West SeedCompany, the agricultural sector needs to increase production by 70 percent tofeed the world population, which is expected to increase to nine billion by2050.
At the event, Dutch and Vietnamese companies signed four memoranda of understanding for cooperationin various sectors.
Fabmax, which specialises in semi-conductor andrelated solutions, TU Delft, one of the world’s top-ranking engineeringuniversities, and the Saigon Hi-Tech Park Labs signed an agreement to supportthe engineering team of SHTP Labs in the production and distribution of powerFET devices in Vietnam.
Deep Arctic Water BV and Phuong Nam Landscape Co. Ltdsigned a MoU for technology and knowledge transfer and the roll-out ofsustainable, high-tech, affordable, scalable and cost-effective circular agrosystems.
Two other agreements were signed between ControlUnion and Institute of Organic Agricultural Economics and between TEN ID andIDV for introducing and certifying international standards in the agriculturalvalue chain and helping the Mekong Delta shrimp industry achievesustainability.
Bilateral trade is growing steadily. In 2015, Vietnam’s exportsincreased by 42 percent and imports by 37 percent. The Netherlands is Vietnam’s secondlargest trade partner and the largest investor inthe EU.-VNA