Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte is slated to have a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today (Nov 1) with both leaders expecting to take stock of the progress of bilateral relations – especially cooperation in trade, investment, cultural exchange, palm oil, agriculture, and agri-commodity.
This is part of the Dutch Premier’s two-day working visit to Malaysia which ends today, marking his second visit to the country following his first visit back in 2014.
“During this engagement, both leaders are also expected to exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual concern. The meeting will be followed by a luncheon hosted by Anwar in honour of Rutte,” said a statement from the Malaysian foreign ministry. “This includes addressing the issue of Islamophobia, as well as exploring new areas of potential cooperation.
Rutte will be accompanied by the Netherlands’ Vice Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Michiel Sweers, senior government officials, and a business delegation during the visit.
The ministry said the Dutch premier is also scheduled to meet with the Deputy Prime Minister cum Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, and participate in a palm tree planting event symbolising the excellent cooperation between the two countries in the palm oil sector.
It said Rutte is scheduled to deliver a keynote address and join a dialogue session with Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, at the 6th Malaysia – the Netherlands Water Dialogue.
“The Water Dialogue is an annual event, co-organised by the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (NRECC) and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kuala Lumpur, which serves as a platform for experts to address various water-related issues,” it added.
Last year, the Netherlands was Malaysia’s 14th largest trading partner globally and the 2nd largest among the European Union’s (EU) Member States, with total trade amounting to RM48.04 billion (US$10.93 billion) – an increase of 33.4 per cent compared to RM36.01 billion (US$8.68 billion) in 2021.
The Netherlands was also the largest palm oil importer among the EU countries in 2022, where the volume amounted to 732,324.54 tonnes.
“It is with great anticipation that the Netherlands will continue to increase its palm oil imports from Malaysia and support Malaysia’s endeavours in promoting sustainable palm oil production, and in scrapping negative allegations against palm oil.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is confident that this visit will further strengthen the established good relations between both countries,” said the statement.