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Belt and Road Initiative brings cooperation opportunities, Dutch foreign minister says

By ZHOU JIN | | Updated: 2018-02-09 17:57
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The Belt and Road Initiative brings new cooperation opportunities in trade and investment for the Netherlands and China as well as China and the European Union, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Halbe Zijlstra said on Thursday in Beijing.

The Netherlands has high quality companies in the fieldsof agriculture, port facilities, and transport, whileinvestment by Chinese companies in the Netherlands is "huge” and Dutch companies are also main investors in China, he said in an interview after meeting with entrepreneurs from both countries.

Currently, the Netherlands is China's third-largest trade partner in the EU and China has been the country's second-largest trade partner outside the EU.

China-Netherlands relations and China-EU relations are essential in world trade, he said, adding that the Netherlands plays a link role in China-EU relations and the Belt and Road Initiative is a great opportunity for China and Europe to further promote economic cooperation.

The Netherlands will participate in the first China International Import Expo, which is scheduled to open in November in Shanghai.

“The expo is an important event in China, as an exporting country, the Netherlands is willing to grab the opportunity,'' he said.

Speaking of the driving force of China-Netherlands diplomatic relations, the minister said mutual respect is important in bilateral relations.

He described the dinner between the Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima and President Xi Jinping as “friendly”, adding that the Netherlands viewsChina as a growing power and from the Chinese side, the Netherlands is a major source country of trade and investment.

This is the second visit by the king within three years, and frequent high level visits are a friendly way for both countries to showcase their good relations, he added.

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