August 15, 2020

Indonesia – Great for holidays, great for business

By H.E. Arif Havas Oegroseno, Indonesian Ambassador to Germany. In December 1994, the then Indonesian Minister for Research and Technology, Bacharuddin. J. Habibie, met with Gerhard Schröder who was the Minister President of Lower Saxony to talk about the preparation for Indonesia’s participation in the Hannover Messe 1995 with a special status as a partner country. In April 1995, President Soeharto had the honor of giving a speech at the Hannover Messe opening ceremony next to Chancellor Helmut Kohl who praised Indonesia’s involvement as the first Asian partner for this leading industrial trade fair.  Habibie and Schröder also spoke about…

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The Corona Virus – Press Briefing On COVID-19

In the picture H.E. Dr. Xu Hong, Ambassador of China. Photography by Naldo Peverelli. By Roy Lie Atjam. The Hague, 26 February 2020, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the Netherlands, H.E. Dr. Xu Hong held a press briefing on the Coronavirus outbreak at Crowne Plaza Hotel. This was done in collaboration with Diplomat Magazine, a magazine serving the Diplomatic community in the BENELUX. Many of Ambassador Xu Hong’s colleagues, dignitaries, media personalities and others attended the press conference. Mr. Jochum Haakma, President of the Netherlands China Business Council also addressed the audience. Mr. Haakma stressed that with the slow shipments of merchandise from China and with…

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EVFTA AND EVIPA: New Highway for EU-Viet Nam Trade and Investment Relations

By H.E. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Viet Nam to the Netherlands. On 12/2/2020, at the Plenary Session in Strasbourg, France, the European Parliament (EP) ratified with a majority the Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) between the European Union (EU) and Viet Nam. These are the most ambitious deals ever between the EU and a developing country, which not only eliminate over 99% of customs duties on goods, but also also open up Vietnamese services markets to EU companies and strengthen protection of EU investments in the country.  The ratification of EVFTA and EVIPA is an important milestone in the30th anniversary of the establishment of Viet Nam-EU diplomatic relations,…

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Nation branding – a communication opportunity

By H.E. Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland. At Expo 2020, which will be held in Dubai from October 2020 to April 2021, the Swiss pavilion will take centre stage, promoting Switzerland’s traditional image as well as its innovative strengths.  In recent decades, countries have become aware of the value of their image and have put strategies in place to shape, alter or strengthen their reputation. Communication wonks call this ‘nation branding’ and Switzerland is by no means exempt.  World expos have therefore become essential communication platforms. Participating countries can provide an emotive experience for visitors and present themselves…

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UAE – 2020 Year of preparation for the Golden Jubilee

By H.E. Ms. Hissa Abdulla Ahmed Alotaiba, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, recently announced that 2020 will be the “year of preparation for the Golden Jubilee” through Launching the largest national strategy of its kind to prepare for the next fifty years of the UAE in 2021, stating that all Emirati community spectrum; including citizens, residents, the public, private…

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Belarus is Turning to a New Decade

By Dr. Stanislav Vassilevsky, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Republic of Belarus in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Belarusian-Dutch bilateral political dialogue in recent years has become more active and promising, since a higher level of contact reflects a strong common interest and a broader agenda. We have held two informative sessions of political consultations at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers and organized the first ever visit of the Dutch parliamentarians to Belarus in 2019 communicating regularly at the multilateral fora. Recent developments have created a favorable background for further intensification of contacts. We welcome the positive trend in…

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Four Centuries of Ghana-Netherlands Relations: A Historical Perspective

By H.E. Ms. Sophia Horner-Sam, Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to the Kingdom of The Netherlands. The Republic of Ghana and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have maintained a long-standing and occasionally intricate economic, historical, political and cultural relations that have evolved between the two countries since 1598 when the Dutch established a trading post, Fort Nassau in Moree, a seaside resort now located in the Central region of Ghana. The Dutch then fortified its position by conquering the Elmina Fort from the Portuguese in 1637 and established the Dutch Gold Coast (a portion of contemporary Ghana) which it administered for…

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Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union: A strong Europe in a world of challenges

By H.E. Dr. Gordan Grlić Radman,  Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. The Republic of Croatia is proud to take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time in the first half of 2020. During the six-month period, Croatia is determined to promote the interests of the European Union and its citizens and position itself on the European and international political, economic and cultural scene. Croatia’s Presidency comes at a time of great changes for the European Union; the beginning of a new institutional and legislative cycle following the…

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Mexico: Much More than Meets the Eye

By H.E. Mr. José Antonio Zabalgoitia, Ambassador of Mexico to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Mexico fascinates, conquers and amazes everyone who visits it, but it also faces stereotyped perceptions from those who have never been there. Let me try to convince you to go, or to return one more time. Perhaps you have heard about its wonderful tourist destinations, its rich and delicious gastronomy, or its natural diversity and eye-catching landscapes. From a relaxed stay at the blue Caribbean Sea to an eco-touristic adventure through the whale sanctuaries in Baja California, Mexico has traditionally been an attractive tourist destination….

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Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN in a Changing World

Priorities of Viet Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 By H.E. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Viet Nam to the Netherlands Viet Nam takes over the ASEAN Chairmanship in a rapidly changing regional and  global landscape where opportunities are intertwined with challenges. Amidst the prevailing trends of peace, stability and cooperation for development, new uncertainties, disruptions and complexities are arising from the geostrategic, political, economic, societal and technological domains. As a result, regional countries are under greater pressure to carefully navigate their policies to maintain an environment conducive to peace, stability and economic growth.  Multilateralism in Viet Nam’s Foreign Policy  2020 holds a significant…

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