JEDDAH: The national day celebration of the Netherlands took place at the crystal ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Sunday.
The celebration gathered a number of diplomatic figures from different nations under one roof to express their diplomatic ties with the Netherlands.
“I very much welcome the choice of the Netherlands, that they have appointed a woman as the honorary consul in Jeddah. It is only the second female honorary consul that we have here, and as you know, bringing women into power and into the workforce is one of the strong movements of Vision 2030,” German Consul General in Jeddah Holger Ziegler told Arab News.
“The Netherlands and the United States are NATO allies. We have a very strong relationship. A lot of our cities were originally founded by people from the Netherlands and now share a lot of common values. I want to congratulate them on their national day,” US Consul General in Jeddah Mathias Mitman told Arab News.
The celebration took off with the national anthems of the two kingdoms, followed by a speech from the Dutch Ambassador Joost Reintjes and the Honorary Consul of the Netherlands in Jeddah Nashwa Taher, both expressing the ties of the two kingdoms.
Reintjes explained that the ties between the two countries are age-old.
“The oldest airline flying to Saudi Arabia is KLM. The first bank is Dutch. There are many links between the two countries. And after a few years of not having a consulate in Jeddah, we thought we should open it again and we found a very good consul. We did the same in Dammam,” he told Arab News.
He explained the economic aspects of the ties between the two countries, highlighting locations of prominent Saudi companies in Holland, such as the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and Saudi Aramco.
“The regional headquarters for SABIC is in Holland, and the regional headquarters for Saudi Aramco is also in Holland. Holland is the biggest European investor in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Taher explained that the opening of the new consulate in Jeddah will hopefully further strengthen the ties between the two nations.
“The Dutch and the Saudis had strong ties for a long time, but it faded," she said. "I think that opening a consulate here in Jeddah and in Dammam will make things much easier and stronger. Of course, the most important aim for the consulate here in Jeddah is to take care of the pilgrimages and to be responsible for the Dutch citizens.
“I would love to start the commercial site and make the ties much stronger and take advantage of this relation by benefiting from the know-how of the Dutch in certain activities and certain sectors.”
Honorary Consul Nashwa Taher highlighted the new business opportunities in the light of Saudi Vision 2030.
“This is an era where we must expand our horizons, take advantage of the opportunity and strengthen the ties, especially now that Vision 2030 is giving us a wider scope of doing business in different sectors that we haven’t done before such as agriculture, transportation and port development,” she told Arab News.