On 30 april 2015 it is 40 years ago that the Vietnam War came to an end. Vietnam has seen extreme poverty after the war, the last 25 years Vietnam is progressing since the economic reform Doi Moi (‘new life’) has been introduced in 1986. Vietnam became the 150th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on January 11, 2007.

Vietnam is currently a transition country, the group of middle income is growing rapidly. Since 2010, Vietnam has officially become a (lower) middle-income country. The development benefits from political and social stability. The goals to reduce child mortality, to make education accessible to all, increasing gender equality and improving maternal health are achieved and in 2015 have more than ever progressed. Reducing poverty in the country has paid off, but poverty varies greatly by region. Especially the ethnic minorities who live in the northern mountains and central highlands are still vulnerable to poverty.

More than half of the 90 million inhabitants is under 25 years and therefore Vietnam is one of the youngest populations in Asia. Vietnam is the second rice exporter just after Thailand, and the second biggest coffee producer in the world after Brazil . The country has developed into an important regional producer of oil and gas and is the third oil producer in South East Asia.

US – Vietnam
The US imposed an arms and trade embargo following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Nineteen years later in 1994, President Clinton lifted the trade embargo. In 2000, Clinton was the first US head of state to visit Vietnam since before the war. In 2011 Vietnam had a military cooperation agreement with the US, the first since the war between the two countries. Until now, Russia was the main military partner of Vietnam.

EU – Vietnam
In 1995, the European Union and Vietnam signed an agreement on economic cooperation and bilateral trade. The EU promised to help Vietnam with the introduction of a market economy, environmental protection and resource conservation.

Netherlands – Vietnam
The relationship between the Netherlands and Vietnam has moved from a development cooperation to trade and investment. The Netherlands is of all EU Member States, the largest investor in Vietnam and the third largest trading partner. In 2013, bilateral trade amounted to € 2.67 billion.

The Dutch and Vietnamese government worked closely together for two years to realize the Mekong Delta Plan, which was presented in 2013. The policy includes a long-term vision (until 2100) for a sustainable and safe development of the river delta. The method of the Delta Plan is widely supported among others by the World Bank and the United Nations.

Vietnam is regarded by the Netherlands in 2014 as an economic priority country. There is a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with the Vietnamese government and businesses in the fields of agriculture and food security. From Vietnam, there is a lot of interest to the agricultural knowledge of the Netherlands when it comes to sustainable agriculture, especially dairy products, pork and fruit and flower chain. Dutch exports to Vietnam include machinery and parts, transport equipment, milk products and auto parts. Dutch imports from Vietnam include telephony products, electronics, footwear and textiles.

Vietnam 2020
The management of the environment and climate change is essential for the long-term development. Industrialization, urbanization and agricultural intensification have affected land and water. This is a threat to the safety of water, food security and reliable energy supply.

The Socio-Economic Development Strategy (2011-2020) wants Vietnam to be a modern industrialized nation by 2020. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to improve the socialist-oriented market economy institutions; to rapidly develop the quality of human resources; and gradually build an extensive infrastructure with modern facilities, in particular the transport network and urban infrastructure.