Dutch to boost ties at top Industry fair
Manama, February 4, 2012
Significant opportunities exist to enhance bilateral trade and investment links between Bahrain and the Netherlands, particularly in the booming industrial sector, according to acting Dutch consul in Bahrain, Jaap Vaandrager.
Announcing the launch of a Dutch trade pavilion at Gulf Industry Fair (GIF) 2012 in Bahrain, Vaandrager said the two countries are both small, outward-looking and business-friendly and should take advantage of their mutual strategic advantages.
GIF 2012 will be held from Tuesday to Thursday at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Organized by Hilal Conferences & Exhibitions (HCE), the Fair provides a highly targeted opportunity for any company or organization marketing products or services aimed at the growing industrial sector of the region.
The Dutch Pavilion at GIF 2012 will have the theme 'Holland: Let's Work Together' and will seek to promote bilateral trade ties between the two countries, as well as showcase the innovative products, services and capabilities of renowned Dutch technological industrial companies - particularly those serving the energy, logistics and aluminium sectors, Vaandrager said.
'Dutch technical expertise is globally renowned and in strong demand,' added Vaandrager, a 20-year veteran of the Gulf region with a background in industrial services.
'Dutch companies are very international in scope and the Gulf Industry Fair provides a stepping stone for companies unfamiliar with the Gulf region to raise profile in and familiarise themselves with the local market.
'The aim of participation is primarily to promote Dutch companies as well as raise awareness among the Netherlands' industrial community of Bahrain's strategic advantages, which include close proximity to Saudi Arabia as well as a favourable tax agreement in place between the Netherlands and Bahrain since 2010,' he said.
Vaandrager added that there are many small and medium-sized companies in Holland who have achieved success in exporting their expertise and products to neighbouring European countries but who, for some reason, have limited market penetration or experience in the Middle East.
'They are known for their great reliability. They deliver on their promises and would make outstanding durable cooperation and lasting partnerships possible,' he said.
'One of my objectives is to try to marry their expertise with the intimate local market knowledge of Bahraini companies, perhaps in the form of joint ventures, for which I see great potential,' he added.
Leading trade officials from the Netherlands will also be on hand at the pavilion to advise visitors on inward investment opportunities in the industrial sector for Gulf businesses and entrepreneurs.
In the Netherlands, considered one of Europe's most outward-looking countries, international trade has been a key element of the Dutch economic system.
Rotterdam port is Europe's largest logistics and industrial base, and the world's fourth largest port. The Dutch are one of the world's largest exporters of agricultural produce and Dutch design has become an international phenomenon.
Vaandrager said his country's participation in GIF 2012 is the first in a series of initiatives to stimulate Bahrain-Netherlands trade, which include organising Dutch trade missions to Bahrain and high-level networking events.-TradeArabia News Service