Netherlands, China Sign Contracts Worth 2 Billion Dollars
THE HAGUE, 24/03/14 - During the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, contracts worth over 2 billion dollars (about 1.5 billion euros) were signed with Dutch business, Foreign Trade Minister Lilianne Ploumen reported.
Xi was on a state visit to the Netherlands on Saturday and Sunday, ahead of the nuclear summit in The Hague on Monday and Tuesday. Premier Mark Rutte received the Chinese president on Sunday morning in his official residence, the Catshuis in The Hague.
On Monday, a round table conference was held between about 15 Dutch CEOs (including those of DSM, AkzoNobel and KLM) and 15 Chinese CEOs.. Ploumen and her Chinese counterpart Gao Hucheng were also present.
On Sunday, during the Dutch-Chinese economic forum in Noordwijk, Bernard Wientjes of employer organisation VNO-NCW urged more far-reaching trade agreements with China, “both within the World Trade Organisation and bilaterally, between China and the European Union.” A trade agreement “offers protection and market access for foreign investors to both clients.”
As well as King Willem-Alexander en Xi Jinping, the forum brought together some 200 Chinese companies and 200 Dutch business representatives. Wientjes stressed that the Netherlands is already the second trade partner of China within the EU and its biggest investor.
Rutte spoke with the Chinese president on the economy, trade and investments. Xi said he sees the Netherlands as the “gateway of Europe.” International relations also came up for discussion, such as the partnership in Mali.
After the meeting, a number of agreements were signed on partnership in the area of dairy and energy and on the establishment of a joint cultural centre. Additionally, KLM will conclude a contract with the Bank of China intended to strengthen the position of the airline company on the Chinese market.