Ambassador's blog: meeting people from all walks of life

The number of interesting people I get to meet in Vietnam seems limitless. Whether representing the government, the business community, civil society organizations, or being themselves, everybody has something unique to offer.

'The artists behind the exposition 'Into Thin Air' hosted by the MANZI Art Cafe and co-sponsored by UNESCO, the Goethe Institute and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs are great examples of this. By combining their creativity with modern technology they made a lasting contribution to the public space in Hanoi: you’ll find 10 contemporary artworks that are placed across the city but exist only virtually - download the app (Into thin Air 2) and see what Industry 4.0 is also about!'

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At the Credential Ceremony

Dutch community

'Having moved into the residence, my husband Coen and I were able to receive and get to know part of the Dutch community in Hanoi and surroundings. It’s a real joy to meet people from all walks of life engaging in a very diverse palette of activities and that at the same time have a lot in common, specifically their enthusiasm about Vietnam and its people.'

Economic growth

'An important topic in Vietnam is sustaining the robust economic growth of the past decades and ensuring that future growth is sustainable and inclusive. This is the reason why the Vietnamese government actively seeks to conclude trade agreements, amongst others with the EU, and attract Foreign Direct Investment – on 4 October 30 years of FDI in Vietnam was celebrated with a successful international conference.'

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Speech of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the PDI Forum

Women empowerment

'In many events, there is a special eye for women empowerment and female entrepreneurship as it is broadly recognized that you cannot move forward economically if women are left behind. I had the opportunity to underline the importance that the Netherlands attaches to this topic at a number of events (organized amongst others by the EU, ASEAN and the Vietnamese Women’s Union): empowering women in the world of work is not only the right thing but also the smart thing to do. It’s a proven business case as we know that female entrepreneurs help to create more and better jobs, tend to hire other women and moreover are more likely to address societal issues.'

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At the Gala of the Women’s Union and the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists

45 years of diplomatic ties

'On 16 October I delivered my credentials to acting president Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh. During our conversation, we reflected on the quality of our longstanding cooperation (this year we celebrate 45 years of diplomatic ties) and the political trust amongst our countries that is the result thereof. Acting president Thing informed me that Vietnam intends to broaden the scope of our current co-operation and include also education and innovation. I was proud to learn that the government is planning to award MCNV -Medisch Committee Nederland Vietnam- that has worked on humanitarian and others topics in Vietnam since 1968 - a medal of honor: a fantastic token of appreciation on their 50th anniversary.'

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In conversation with acting president Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh

Network

'The coming weeks I will meet with government representatives that are part of our precious network. I look forward to discuss with them the further deepening of our co-operation in the field of trade and investment, water, agriculture and other issues that matter for mutually beneficial and sustainable economic and societal development.'