Qatari-Dutch Relations… Common Aspirations to Enhance Cooperation and Investments (Report)

Doha: Relations between the State of Qatar and the Netherlands are entering a new phase, within the framework of efforts to strengthen partnerships and investments between the two countries, and to coordinate mutual positions on a number of issues of common interest, thanks to the position that both parties enjoy in international and regional forums.

The first official visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, reflects the depth of relations between the two countries in various fields. It also culminates an important stage of fruitful cooperation and ways to develop and strengthen bilateral relations.

HH the Amir had met with HE Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, on Nov. 8, 2023, who was on a working visit to the country. The two sides held a session of discussions that touched on developments in the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, the diplomatic efforts of the two countries to push towards stopping the aggression against Gaza urgent
ly, and the opening of safe corridors for international relief efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis that the Palestinians are suffering from.

During the visit, the Dutch Prime Minister, expressed his appreciation to HH the Amir for the diplomatic efforts of the State of Qatar regionally and internationally, especially with regard to the situation in Gaza. His Excellency stressed discussions of bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them, besides discussions of developments of topics of common interest, especially those related to the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Relations between the two countries have recorded clear momentum recently, as HH the Amir has received phone calls from HE Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, in April, March and January, besides receiving other three phone calls earlier in December and October, to discuss bilateral relations and current developments in the occupied Palestinian territories.

On Jan. 12, 2023, HE Former Minister of F
oreign Affairs of the Netherlands Wopke Hoekstra visited Doha, where he praised the role of the State of Qatar in European energy security, considering its importance and vitality to the future of energy as being one of the largest suppliers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world.

The Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the Netherlands, in cooperation with the International Labor Organization (ILO), also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance the cooperation strategy, especially in ways of resolving disputes, social dialogue, protecting wages, in addition to facilitating the exchange of information.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries began in 1972, while the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was opened in the capital, Doha, in 2005. However, in the last five years, bilateral relations have witnessed a remarkable development and have received an impetus, thanks to rounds of political consultations agreed upon between officials of the two countries.

The last rounds of political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of the Netherlands were held in The Hague in January 2024, where the Qatari side was chaired by HE Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, while the Dutch side was chaired by HE Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Paul Huijts. The round of consultations reviewed bilateral cooperation relations and ways to support and enhance them.

The joint statement following the conclusion of the tour confirmed that the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of the Netherlands agreed to continue bilateral cooperation and coordination, and to strengthen their strategic relationship. Both sides expressed their aspiration to upgrade these consultations into a strategic dialogue.

The statement also indicated that the two sides discussed a number of issues of common interest, such as bilateral and economic cooperation, mediation and conflict resolution
, in addition to regional and international developments, including the situation in Gaza.

On Feb. 18, 2021, the second round of political consultations was held between Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar and the Netherlands via video communication technology, while the first round of political consultations was held in The Hague on Apr. 3, 2019.

At the level of economic relations between the two countries, the Netherlands participated in Web Summit Qatar 2024, which witnessed a huge turnout by experts and specialists in the field of technology from all over the world. The summit was an opportunity to expand Dutch-Qatari relations in digital economy, innovation, cooperation and protection of digital infrastructure, and cyber information security. The Netherlands also participated in the Expo 2023 Doha (International Horticultural Exposition), where the Dutch pavilion displayed sustainable solutions and innovations for gardening and landscaping in arid climates, green energy generation mecha
nisms, renewable energy technology, and uses of mobility and transportation using green hydrogen. On the other hand, the participation of the State of Qatar in Expo Floriade 2022, which was launched in September 2022 in the city of Almere in the Netherlands, represented an opportunity to promote Expo 2023 Doha, through presenting a variety of interactive events that inform them of the ambitious vision of the State of Qatar for a greener environment and sustainability. In this context, Nebras Power entered the Dutch solar energy market by acquiring a 75 percent stake in a Dutch holding company that owns a portfolio of photovoltaic power stations amounting to approximately 96 megawatts. The Qatari Q Terminals Group also owns a majority stake in the Dutch Kramer Group, a logistics services provider and container port operator in the Rotterdam port area. Additionally, Qatari assets include hotels, banks and air freight companies. On the other hand, Dutch companies participated in infrastructure projects in Qatar,
in addition to the contribution of Dutch architectural engineers in the development of Hamad International Airport, Qatar National Library, and Doha Metro stations. The world’s leading Dutch interior designer, Marcel Wanders, also designed the Mondrian Hotel. Furthermore, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Qatar Football Association (QFA). The Qatar Chamber hosted a Dutch trade delegation on Mar. 31, 2019, which included representatives of 18 companies specialized in sports investment, to discuss cooperation opportunities between Qatari and Dutch companies; in preparation for the holding of the Qatar World Cup 2022. The Chamber’s Board Member, Eng. Ali Bin Abdullatif Al Misned, said that the two countries have many common features, whether in terms of geography or economic ambitions, noting the growth of trade exchange between Qatar and the Netherlands by 40 percent to $1.3 billion in 2019. The two countries also bring together an old student exchange pro
gram between Qatar University and the Dutch University of Utrecht, which was launched in 2011. In addition fruitful understandings, agreements and cooperation in the fields of agriculture, communications, transportation, infrastructure, museums, energy fields, avoiding double taxation, and monitoring tax evasion. The Netherlands is located in northwestern Europe, it is a constitutional monarchy. It takes Amsterdam as its capital, with a population of about 17 million, according to 2020 data. The Netherlands follows a parliamentary system in its ruling system, as Parliament is primarily responsible for the government which includes the president, the prime minister, and the ministers, while the parliament includes the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Netherlands constitutes the sixth largest economy in the European Union (EU), and is concerned with many industries, including: petroleum refining, food processing, chemical industry, and various electrical machines. The agricultural sector represents
the second largest source of agriculture around the world, as it supports the situation of the entire country, with about 2 percent of the workforce. Two-thirds of the Netherlands’ economy depends on foreign trade, as it ranks seventh in the world in terms of exports. Regarding monetary policy, the European Central Bank (ECB) is in control, and in 2002, the euro was adopted as the official currency in the country. Investors in the Netherlands benefit from a skilled and highly educated workforce, along with excellent infrastructure. It also occupies a unique position in the global digital economy in terms of digital infrastructure as one of the main nodes of the Internet in the world. International sea cables land on the coast of the Netherlands, and there are large data centers in the country.

Source: Qatar News Agency

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