Interview: Dutch PM says Shanghai Expo to strengthen bilateral ties

19:22, April 22, 2010      

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Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said that the Shanghai Expo will not only benefit the world as a whole, but will also contribute to strengthening relations between the Netherlands and China.

"The Shanghai Expo is an important event because it is worldwide beneficial," Balkenende said in an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday.

"The expo is of great significance", he said, adding "it offered a good opportunity for people to meet and learn from each other".

With the theme of "Better city, Better life", the Shanghai Expo focuses on an important issue of how to improve the quality of living of people, the prime minister said.

In this regard, Balkenende said: "I must say I admire China, because of all they achieved during the last decade".

The Dutch prime minister said that he is looking forward to going to China on the first day of May to open the Dutch pavilion at the Shanghai Expo. He said the pavilion is "a combination of Dutch architecture", noting that people can find a lot of elements of Dutch technology, art and culture in it.

"I really hope that we can contribute to the success of the world expo in Shanghai," the prime minister said.

The Shanghai Expo will not only benefit the world as a whole, but also go a long way to strengthen ties between the Netherlands and China, according to the prime minister.

"It's an important event which can contribute to a long lasting cooperation," he said, "The fact that we are present at the world expo underlined the fact that we value the good relations between China and the Netherlands very much."

The two countries can cooperate in the areas of agriculture, energy and innovation, and water management, where the Netherlands boasts much expertise, according to the prime minister.

Balkenende said that he is looking forward to meeting with Chinese leaders during his visit to Shanghai and conducting comprehensive talks with them. The topics could cover the financial crisis, finalization of the World Trade Organization negotiations and cooperation on fighting climate change.

"When we talk with the Chinese leadership, it has to do with bilateral issues, but also has to do with the worldwide dimension," he said, adding China is a world player in both economic and political sense.

Source: Xinhua


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