Hanoi, 30 October 2001

Dutch Vice-Minister for Transport, Public Works and Water management , Mrs. Monique de Vries, has pledged support for water management in Central Vietnam during her working visit to the country from 20-27 October 2001. Both at the coast and in the inlands, Vietnam suffers regularly from severe flooding. Apart from the structural support, the Vice-Minister pledged 100.000 NGL (appr. 45,000 Euro) for emergency aid in the Mekong Delta., that is prone to regular flooding. Last week about 300 people died in the heavy weather .

The visit of the business delegation mainly dealt with water management. On Monday the Vice-Minister officially opened the Hanoi Water Conference, in which 300 persons participated. The Conference is a follow-up to the second World Water Forum in The Hague, and constitutes for Vietnam the start-up for the third World Water Forum in Japan in 2003.

During meetings with her Vietnamese counterparts for Transport, Agriculture and Rural Development and Sciences, Technology and Environment, the Vice-Minister also pledged structural support The Netherlands will intensify the existing educat1on programme’s in the field of water management and will provide expertise for the establishment of the Vietnamese Coastal Zone Management Center. An example of this is the seminar on flood management and dyke design, co-organized by the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management. In addition, Vice Minister De Vries promised the Provincial People’s Committee in Hue, after a field visit, direct support for the establishment of an adequate measuring method and the setting up of a databank. Both provisions will contribute to water management programme’s in the region. Hue suffers regularly from severe storms, flooding and coastal line erosion.

The Netherlands is the biggest European investor in Vietnam and ranks seventh world-wide. In addition, Vietnam is one of the countries with which the Netherlands has a structural development relation. The working visit of the Vice Minister in 1993 founded the basis for co-operation in the field of water management, transport, aviation, and telecommunication. During the visit of Prime Minister Phan Van Khai to the Netherlands, it was announced that the Dutch budget for the development co-operation will be gradually doubled to 60 million guilders (appr. 27 million Euro} per year.

For more information, please contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy (Ms. Marona van den Heuvel or Mr. Nico Bakker) in Hanoi at tel. 8315650