Dutch move towards 'economic diplomacy'

1st March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Netherlands should have closer trade links with the Persian Gulf States, Singapore and South Korea, according to Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal.

Speaking to an audience of students and businesspeople at Tilburg University on Monday, he said these countries, just like the Netherlands, were ‘regional interchanges’. Their size and interests were also comparable to those of the Dutch state.

Mr Rosenthal sees strengthening the economic position of the Netherlands as a key goal of Dutch foreign policy. He believes Dutch embassies can play an important role in fulfilling that goal by concentrating on economic diplomacy.

The change of emphasis towards the Middle East and Asia will mean a major shake-up in the Dutch embassy network with some diplomatic missions facing cuts or even closures.

However, new posts will be created. The Netherlands for instance plans to open an office later this year in Panama to champion Dutch business interests there.


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