THE HAGUE — The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative presents many opportunities that make it attractive for Dutch companies to participate in, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Xinhua ahead of his visit to China.
“Of course Dutch companies are very much interested in Belt and Road,” said Rutte.
The initiative “involves enormous investment in infrastructure. And this is where Dutch companies can assist China with their strong expertise in the fields like maritime logistics and port development, as well as rail and road construction and sustainability,” he said.
“Our focus is on sustainable projects in line with international standards,” Rutte added.
Proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the initiative aims to achieve policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes, thus building a new platform for international cooperation to create new drivers of growth.
“This visit is an excellent opportunity for companies to make new contacts and show where the Netherlands excels,” said Rutte. “And they recognize this opportunity too: it’s no accident that a staggering 165 companies and knowledge institutions are taking part in this trade mission — 236 people in total.”
“Dutch companies are positive about doing business in China,” he added.
According to the prime minister, over 1,000 Dutch companies operate in China, at around 1,500 sites.
Last month, the first direct train left Amsterdam for China’s trading hub of Yiwu within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. “I like to see this connection as a symbol of intensifying China-Dutch relations,” Rutte said.