45 years of diplomatic relations bring new opportunities for Dutch business in Vietnam

In 2018, the Netherlands and Vietnam are celebrating that our diplomatic relations were established 45 years ago. The Embassy and Consulate-General of the Netherlands will make use of this opportunity to showcase The Netherlands as a modern partner for sustainable and innovative solutions, in particular in a number of important cities throughout Vietnam. We will organize a variety of events in which Dutch companies (interested in) doing business in Vietnam can participate and from which they can benefit. Read more about the events and opportunities in 2018 in this article.

45 years

Diplomatic ties between the Netherlands and Vietnam were officially established 45 years ago, in 1973. For five decades, The Netherlands contributed to Vietnam’s transition into the lower middle-income country it is today. Our development aid was – and still is – directed at a variety of issues, such as agriculture, water management, women economic empowerment, sanitation, health care, labor conditions in the garment sector, and nature preservation. At the same time, our trade and investment relations have grown steadily, and The Netherlands is nowadays the 2nd trade partner of Vietnam among EU countries (10th worldwide), and cumulatively the largest EU investor in Vietnam. We are seen as a reliable, modern partner for sustainable and innovative solutions.

New opportunities in 2018

The celebrations of 45 years of diplomatic relations were officially launched during the trade mission led by Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ms. Sigrid Kaag, on 6-7 February. Throughout the year, there will be a number of other events and activities in which Dutch businesses can participate, as guest, co-organizer, participant, sponsor, etc. In particular, we will organize a series of so-called “Dutch Days”, where we will combine efforts to present the Netherlands in the fields of trade and investment, education and culture. The Embassy and Consulate-General of the Netherlands will do their utmost to ensure the ‘45 years celebrations’ are not (just) about looking back, but will generate new opportunities for stronger relations and new business contacts.

26 April, King’s Day reception (Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City)

Of course the Dutch national day, King’s Day will have a special significance in Vietnam this year. The King’s Day receptions in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will both take place on the evening of 26 April. Besides welcoming the Dutch community in Vietnam, we will invite key contacts in the government, in the local business community and knowledge institutes. The networking event of the year!

4-6 May, Europe Village (Hanoi)

The Embassy of The Netherlands will participate in the Europe Village, organized by the EU Delegation in Vietnam. In our Holland Booth we’ll show the best of the Netherlands, from Dutch innovations, typical Dutch foods to Dutch cultural heritage. Don’t miss our pop-up museum with reproductions of famous Dutch Masters like Rembrandt and Van Gogh! A number of company booths will showcase their products and services, and the audience can enjoy Dutch-Vietnamese music performances. Visit us at Ly Thai To square in Hanoi!

25-26 May, Dutch Days in Danang

Danang, ‘the City of Bridges’, is Vietnam’s fourth largest city and of increasing economic importance – also shown by being the location for last year’s APEC summit, when dozens of world leaders met here. During the two Dutch Days, the Embassy and Consulate-General will give extra attention to opportunities for Dutch businesses in this city. We will meet with local authorities to get updated on the city development plan, and we can pitch Dutch solutions and companies to the city’s top leaders. We will organize a seminar with the theme of “Sustainable Investment and Urban Development” and a networking event where Dutch businesses can be linked to local companies and relevant organizations. Besides these more business-oriented events on the first day (25 May), the second day will include public events like a bike ride and a ‘Study in Holland’ booth (26 May).

Dutch companies interested in participating should register at HCM-EA@minbuza.nl by 10 April 2018. Please indicate the areas of interest and any companies or authorities you wish to approach. Based on your reactions, we will design a program reflecting your wishes and will provide you with more information in due time.

8-9 June, Dutch Days in Dalat

The Dutch Days in Dalat, Lam Dong province, aim to further promote The Netherlands in an area where bilateral trade and investment relations have been active for a long time. Lam Dong is a province in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, some 800-1000m above sea level, and is leading the country in high-tech agriculture (18% of its cultivation area). The province has approved a plan to improve infrastructure for production areas, mainly of vegetables, tea and coffee, up to USD 4 million by 2020.

Our Dutch Days will include meeting the local authorities, a seminar on agribusiness, and a networking event to strengthen our trade and investment relations. While these business-oriented events will take place on the first day (8 June), a bike ride and a ‘Study in Holland’ booth are planned for the second day (9 June).

16 June – 6 July, World Press Photo Exhibition (Hanoi)

For the first time in 15 years, we will bring the World Press Photo Exhibition to Hanoi - in cooperation with the Vietnam Journalists' Association (VJA). The World Press Photo Exhibition is a world-famous exhibition of the best and most memorable press photographs from around the globe. Already visiting >90 major cities and attracting millions of visitors around the world annually, now it will also be accessible for the people of Vietnam. The opening ceremony (invitation only) will bring together key contacts from the Vietnamese government, the cultural and artistic community, creative industry, and others.

2nd half of September, Dutch Days in Haiphong

Haiphong is a major industrial and port city in Northern Vietnam, and the third-largest city in Vietnam. A significant number of Dutch businesses are located here, not only in the maritime industry (connected as the Dutch Maritime Cluster), but also in agriculture and logistics. The Dutch Days in Haiphong will include a dialogue on doing business with the Haiphong authorities, a thematic seminar on sustainable business, and a networking reception. On the second day, we will reach out to a wider audience by organizing a bike ride, a ‘Study in Holland’ booth and cultural activities.

5-6 November, Dutch Days in Can Tho

Can Tho is the fifth-largest city of Vietnam, and the largest city in the Mekong Delta. Main challenges in this region relate to climate change, water management and agriculture. We will organize a seminar on the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta, in cooperation with the relevant ministries and provincial governments. It will take place right before the international water exhibition VietWater (7-9 November in Ho Chi Minh City), where The Netherlands will be present with a Holland Booth. Both events are great opportunities for Dutch businesses to showcase their expertise on sustainable agro-business, water management and climate adaptation!


This ‘45 years’ campaign is also an ideal opportunity to create visibility for the Dutch brands and companies in Vietnam. To ensure this we will offer a variety of sponsor options, ranging from the entire campaign to a specific event. If you are interested in being visible as a sponsor of these events, please contact HAN-EA@minbuza.nl for more information about the possibilities. A separate sponsor letter will be provided soon.

“This is my fourth and final year as Ambassador in Vietnam, and I am honored that I can end my term here with celebrating our 45 years of diplomatic relations. While our bilateral trade and investment ties have been growing rapidly, perhaps equally important is the increase in people-to-people contacts. Tourism flows, cooperation between social organizations and knowledge institutions, and student exchanges will inevitably promote positive ties between both our countries. I am confident that these 45 years are just the beginning of a future of long-lasting and positive ties, not just between our countries, but also between our people.”

--- Nienke Trooster

--- Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Vietnam