Business / Economy

Tremendous opportunities created for Dutch businesses in China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-09 17:27

THE HAGUE - Tremendous opportunities are presenting themselves for Dutch businesses in China, a country that "has grown into a high-tech country with high-quality economic activity," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said.

"I am deeply impressed by China's rapid development," Rutte told Xinhua in a recent interview, commenting on his latest visit to China from March 24 to 29 with a business delegation.

"And it (China) rightly expects the countries it does business with to show the same level of innovativeness and quality. This opens up tremendous opportunities for Dutch businesses in fields like food quality," he said.

The Netherlands is China's third largest trade partner in the European Union, with bilateral trade totalling nearly 44 billion euros ($47.3 billion) in 2014, Rutte said. The two countries are important investment destinations for each other.

As the Netherlands excels in dairy products, water management, agriculture and the creative and high-tech sectors, there is huge potential for cooperation with China, he said.

Moreover, "both the Netherlands and China face challenges on global issues like climate change, environmental pollution and urbanization. Both countries want to invest in sustainable energy and biodiversity," the prime minister said. "There are good opportunities for cooperation in these areas too."

During his last visit, Rutte attended the Boao Forum for Asia, an annual conference for government leaders, international researchers and businesses, where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"My meeting with the president was also very productive. We discussed the close cooperation between our countries and the scope for strengthening our relations, including those at the economic level," he said, adding that his attendance as one of the few European leaders at the important Asian meeting was an honor for him.

"We are far more than just trading partners. It is no coincidence that we signed a partnership agreement during President Xi Jinping's state visit to the Netherlands in 2014," Rutte said.

"This demonstrates the desire of both our countries to further broaden and consolidate our economic, political and cultural ties."

Rutte said his trade mission has produced excellent results for both the Netherlands and China. "Over 50 agreements were signed, in fields like aviation and science, as well as in more traditional areas such as agriculture," he said.

The Dutch delegation also visited many innovative companies in China, such as Huawei and DJI, a world leader in drones. Huawei has decided to establish its new European logistics center for all its ICT products in the Netherlands, and DJI will locate its European headquarters in the Netherlands.

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