A number of Dutch companies are contributing to Pakistan’s growing economy and trying to create a win-win situation for both countries, Netherlands Embassy’s First Secretary and Head of Economics Robert Dresen says.
He was talking to representatives of the business community of south Punjab at the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
He observed that his country has a vibrant economy and is the fifth largest exporter of goods and the second largest exporter of agricultural produce in the world.
“A number of [large] Dutch companies, along with dozens of smaller ones, are operating here in Pakistan,” he said, adding that Pakistan held major reserves of resources and that many foreign companies were looking forward to invest in the country.
Dresen said that agriculture was at the top of his list among areas where trade can be expanded, noting that the Netherlands produced a lot of agriculture-related machinery.
The diplomat added that the two countries had a lot of potential if they explored dairy farming, poultry and horticulture together.
In response to a question, he said they had recently approved a joint venture for a fish farming project based in DG Khan, which would be completed in the next three years and transfer new farming technologies to Pakistan.
To another question, Dresen clarified that the Netherlands encouraged only skilled and knowledgeable workers to migrate to the country.
MCCI Acting President Mian Bakhtawar Tanvir Sheikh observed that Pakistan was enjoying cordial relations with the Netherlands, and that trade ties between the two countries had been evolving steadily.
He said that Pakistan has great potential in exporting agricultural produce to neighbouring countries, as two-third of the world’s population lives in the region. He noted that the only thing hindering exports was the standard for export goods.
In particular, Sheikh laid stress on the fact that Pakistan is the fourth largest milk producing country in the world, and that the two countries may join hands in establishing milk processing plants.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2013.