Netherlands and Vietnam promotes sustainable business for Mekong Delta

January 27, 2021 | 13:54
The Netherlands-Vietnam Sustainable Business Event – the concluding networking event of the Mekong Delta Mission (from December 1 to 4, 2020) was held on January 25 in Ho Chi Minh City to celebrate the bilateral collaboration and partnership between the two countries in agriculture, water, and circular economy.
netherlands and vietnam promotes sustainable business for mekong delta
The Netherlands-Vietnam Sustainable Business Event for the Mekong Delta reaffirms the solid cooperation and friendship between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Vietnam

A Letter of Intent on the Establishment of the Netherlands-Vietnam Business Platform for the Mekong Delta between the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality together with the joint Top Sector Water, Logistics, Agro Food, Horticulture & Starting Materials (Top Sector) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (VCCI) branch in Can Tho city (VCCI Can Tho), was signed at the event.

The platform is established to not only stimulate business development in the Mekong Delta with a focus on sustainable water management, agro-water technology, and logistics but also identify business opportunities through a public-private partnership approach by 2030.

Effective partnership and comprehensive integrated plans are, however, not sufficient without financing. Mobilisation of alternative financial resources – from the private sector, rather than just solely from the government, has to be prioritised. Business is the leading force for the development of the Mekong Delta.

Another highlight of the event was the Sustainable Citrus Chain Empowering and Developing Smallholders in the Mekong Delta (SUCCEEDS).

With $2 million invested from the Dutch government and another $2 million from the Dutch private sector, the project aims to make the citrus sector of the Mekong Delta more sustainable and efficient (reduce the negative impacts of agro-chemicals to the environment), and more profitable (50 per cent increase in income) for 150,000 citrus small-holders in the area, by developing a sustainable citrus value chain – in which the local farmers will be contracted and supported in combination with the private sector’s extension system, fertiliser advisory service, virus-free citrus seedlings, and financial support programme.

The programme was signed between The Fruit Republic, Can Tho University, and Ben Luc district from Long An province for the next five years of implementation.

Alongside, there are also project launchings and project introductions. Among those were the “Quality improvement tropical fruit Vietnam”, “Orange knowledge Program: Towards a climate-resilient nursery sector and value chain in the Mekong Delta”, “River training and management in the Mekong Delta”, “Water retention in the Mekong Delta”, and “Cai Mep Ha Logistics Centre and Downstream Cai Mep Ha Port”.

The event also honours five project winners of the Agro-Water Solutions for the Mekong Delta Contest, where Dutch and Vietnamese knowledge institutes and businesses work together for breakthrough solutions addressing the challenges in the Mekong Delta.

The Netherlands-Vietnam Sustainable Business Event for the Mekong Delta reaffirms the solid cooperation and friendship between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Vietnam.

The Mekong Delta in Vietnam faces many challenges – such as climate change, salt intrusion, land subsidence, clean water shortage any others, that affect not only the regional economy but also the livelihoods of the people.

The Netherlands has been Vietnam’s leading partner in a joint movement towards the realisation of a sustainable and climate-resilient Mekong Delta, both in the public and private sectors.

Vietnam and the Netherlands have embarked on a sustainable development pathway that requires a more comprehensive and integrated approach to economy and ecology in their economic growth models, with impact investments needed from both the government and private sectors, especially in water and agriculture.

The Netherlands and Vietnam have been engaged in the Strategic Partnership Arrangement on Climate Change Adaptation and Water Management since 2010 and the Strategic Partnership Arrangement on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security since 2014 – two over-arching umbrella structures for all existing and new areas of cooperation in the aforementioned fields.

The agro-water nexus – two interlinked elements of the delta system – is a showcase for an integrated approach to the Mekong Delta’s governance and businesses in adaptation to climate change, changing water and agriculture conditions.

The cooperation between the two countries has become even more robust after the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), with a growing volume of agro products transported between the two countries for consumption.

As a small country with a highly innovative sector and the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products, and as Vietnam’s second-largest European trade partner, the Netherlands is with Vietnam in every step towards a sustainable food system for the Mekong Delta and together we will solve the challenges for years to come.

By Bich Ngoc

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