DUBAI, 15th March, 2018 (WAM) -- Frank J.M. Mollen, Ambassador of the Netherlands to UAE, has hailed the investment-friendly environment in the UAE, saying that the UAE business landscape is notable for its clarity.
"Dutch companies are seeking clarity and they can adapt to all requirements and challenges and this is noticed on ground in the UAE where the environment is business-oriented and conducive to investments," Mr. Mollen said in an interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM, on the sidelines of the 40th anniversary of Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency’s, NFIA, supporting foreign businesses to expand in the Netherlands.
"In the same fashion, the Netherlands is one of the best places in the world to do business. With a strong, innovative economy, a highly skilled, international workforce and a world-class living environment," he added.
Hans Sandee, Consul-General of Netherlands hosted a ceremony at his residence in Dubai last night to mark the occasion, together with Cees Kieft, Executive Director NFIA MENA & Turkey. It was attended by UAE companies that have successfully launched their business in the Netherlands as well as those exploring opportunities with NFIA.
The Dutch Ambassador went on to say, "The two countries have decided to have a working relation as the UAE has a lot of expertise but also a lot of demands in terms of water desalination. We have experience in water quality. In energy, we have quite an experience in gas but also in renewables and we are a very large exporter of agriculture. So, both of us are trying to cooperate to the best interests of the two peoples and find efficient solutions to challenges."
He added, "The UAE and Netherlands are now seeking to put into practice the agreement signed last year by Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, during his visit to the Netherlands on reinforcing cooperation in innovation.
The agreement covers diverse sectors, notably healthcare, aerospace and logistics, but most important is its focus on the energy-water-food nexus, as the Netherlands has an integrated approach to these three challenges that are interlinked."
The non-oil trade exchange between the UAE and the Netherlands amounted to around EUR4.2 billion in 2016, and ties between the two countries further improved in 2017, the ambassador told WAM. "In 2016, the Netherlands exports to the UAE were estimated at around EUR3.3 billion, while the UAE exports to the Netherlands stood at around EUR900,000."
Asked about his impression about VAT and its impact on business, the ambassador said the UAE VAT is less than its equivalent in the Netherlands and the Dutch companies will work it in any way suitable for their interests.
On his country’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, Mr. Mollen said, " EXPO will provide a distinguished podium for governments to meet. We all agree with Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Board Representative of the Expo 2020 Dubai, on her remarks that EXPO is a wonderful meeting place for world cultures but also we believe it will generate lots of business opportunities. The Dutch are very practical and we are positive our participation in Expo will be very distinguished."
Speaking to WAM as well on the sidelines of the celebration, the Dutch Consul-General described the bilateral relations as "very healthy". "There are around 250 Dutch firms operating in the UAE. They are not only corporate companies, but also include medium- and small-size enterprises working in different areas, such as energy, trade and logistics, healthcare and innovation. There is also a number of Emirati companies working in the Netherlands and our relations are evolving rapidly."
Jeroen C.M. Nijland, Commissioner of Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, affirmed the growing relations between the two countries.
Addressing the celebration, Nijland said among the UAE based companies that were recently supported by the NFIA in establishing their business in the Netherlands is Baron Emperor International. The company recently launched its steel product line "BSS" which is being developed in the Netherlands with an ISO accreditation. Baron Emperor International has long been involved in large projects in the UAE & across the GCC, and with the support of the NFIA the company has introduced its products to the European market.
Another UAE-based company that has established operations in the Netherlands is Fadi Sarieddine Design Studio, a multidisciplinary atelier founded in 2013 by Lebanese architect Fadi Sarieddine and his wife Lilas Bitar. The studio’s work ranges in scale from architectural projects, to interior design.
For 40 years, the NFIA has served as a one-stop-shop for successful European expansion, supporting more than 4,000 companies from some 50 countries to establish or expand their business in the Netherlands. An operational unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, NFIA helps and advises foreign companies in all phases of establishing, rolling out and/or expanding their international operations in the Netherlands.