ISLAMABAD - Netherlands is an advanced economy and has the technology & expertise to cooperate with Pakistan in solar, wind, coal & biomass energy to mitigate its energy woes, said Robert Dresen, First Secretary/Head Economic Affairs of Netherlands Embassy. Robert Dresen, who was accompanied by Peter A Felix, Commercial Officer, said this during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He said Netherlands is amongst the top 20 economies of the world with GDP of $820 billion while Pakistan is emerging as a huge consumer market and Netherlands wants to cooperate with Pakistan in power generation, energy saving, shipping, ports development, water purification, dairy farming agriculture etc. to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

He said located at the gateway to the European Union, which is the world’s largest single market, Netherlands is a global hub for innovation and high tech value added products. Pakistan can reap rich economic benefits by improving collaboration with Netherlands in areas of mutual interest. He said Netherlands has access to limited arable land, but due to advanced technology and best practices, it is the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world. Pakistan can achieve phenomenal results in its agriculture productivity by having close cooperation with Netherlands.  He said Netherlands has special technology and expertise in desilting of dams and Dutch companies can help in desilting of Tarbela and Mangla dams which will help Pakistan to improve energy supply. He said Pakistan can also benefit from Dutch Private Sector Investment program which aims to stimulate growth and create jobs in emerging markets. Speaking at the occasion, Zafar Bakhtawari, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said that energy shortage has badly affected trade and industry and stressed that Pakistan should seriously consider Netherlands’ cooperation, especially for desilting of its dams to increase cheap hydro power generation.

He said bilateral trade between Pakistan and Netherlands is still below one billion US dollars while both countries have good potential to work together in many areas including energy, IT & hi-tech industries, agriculture, dairy farming, logistics, chemicals, water, environment etc. for trade & joint ventures. He underlined that governments of both countries should facilitate their businessmen for enhancing collaboration in these areas.

ICCI President appreciated the contribution of Dutch companies like Shell, Phillips and Unilever in Pakistan’s economy. He said Pakistan’s economy has enormous potential to grow and hoped that with the election of a business friendly government; more Dutch companies would consider Pakistan as a good destination for investment and joint ventures.