First trade mission to Vietnam and Malaysia by foreign trade minister Sigrid Kaag

This week, foreign trade and development cooperation minister Sigrid Kaag will jointly lead a trade delegation to Vietnam and Malaysia with Hans de Boer, chair of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers. They will be accompanied by representatives of 45 Dutch companies. This will be the first time Ms Kaag has led a trade mission since taking office last year.

Vietnam and Malaysia are major trade and investment partners of the Netherlands. In both countries, the forthcoming trade mission will focus on urban growth and social challenges such as climate change and rising sea levels.

The minister commented, ‘There are many opportunities for the Netherlands in southeast Asia. Economic prospects in Vietnam and Malaysia are good. Like the Dutch, Vietnamese entrepreneurs are known for their pragmatic approach to doing business. Among the ASEAN nations, Malaysia is our second-biggest trading partner. It is known internationally for its attractive business climate, solid infrastructure and open economy.’

In the minister’s opinion, the trade mission will offer opportunities to share knowledge and forge partnerships between companies with expertise in a range of areas, including delta technology, maritime infrastructure, urban development, waste processing, transport and logistics. ‘I am convinced that this mission will serve to strengthen our already excellent relations with Vietnam and Malaysia,’ Ms Kaag commented.

Sigrid Kaag’s visit marks the start of the celebrations of 45 years of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the Netherlands. On Tuesday the minister will meet with Vietnamese government representatives in the capital Hanoi. On Wednesday, she and the Dutch business representatives will attend a programme of events in Ho Chi Minh City.

On Thursday and Friday, the Dutch delegation will visit Malaysia. Here, too, their timetable will include talks with members of government and businesspeople. Ms Kaag will also take part in the World Urban Forum, a conference about the impact of rapid urbanisation on communities, the economy and climate, and the consequences for policymaking in all these areas. The trade mission will culminate in the national football stadium with a football clinic by the Johan Cruyff Foundation.