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Sino-Dutch trade eyes potential growth under BRI: Experts

(People's Daily Online)    17:05, September 05, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) holds talks with King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 26, 2015. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)

Serving as a pivotal country along the Belt and Road, the Netherlands is willing to strengthen its long-standing ties with China, as well as promote further commercial cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), said Dutch politicians and business leaders during an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, held in Beijing on Sept. 5, 2018.

“The ties between both countries are already strong. Commercially, the Netherlands is the third trade partner of China within the EU, while cultural exchanges, people contact and educational cooperation between our two countries are also flourishing,” Bas Pulles, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in China, told People’s Daily Online.

Regarding the Netherlands as an important partner within the EU, China established a comprehensive partnership with the Netherlands in 2014, with a focus on open and pragmatic cooperation.

“Supported by Chinese policy and the excellent climate for Chinese investments in the Netherlands, we were able to ride the wave of fast-growing outward investments from China in recent years,” added Pulles.

According to statistics, the Netherlands is now a major distribution and R&D headquarter for Chinese companies in Europe, with the latter setting up nearly 90 European distribution centers and more than 50 R&D centers in the Netherlands.

“To date, Chinese companies have established more than 680 direct investment enterprises in the Netherlands, creating over 15,000 local jobs,” said Roland Brouwer, Executive Director of Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency in China.

Experts believe that the Netherlands, which is the sixth-largest economy in the European Union in terms of GDP and a great access point for China to enter the European market, will see further business cooperation with China under the framework of the BRI.

During his state visit to China in April, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte reiterated his country’s interests in the BRI, noting that the initiative has presented many opportunities for Dutch companies, with 236 individuals and 165 companies and institutions joining his delegation to make new contacts and show where the Netherlands excels to their Chinese counterparts.

“We are expecting a high-level Chinese visit to the Netherlands in the coming months,” said Pulles, who expected that China and the Netherlands will further promote their business ties. 

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(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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