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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Turkey for official visit

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will pay an official visit to Turkey from 5 to 7 November 2012, at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Mr Rutte will be accompanied by Minister for Agriculture and Foreign Trade Henk Bleker. The purpose of the trip is to strengthen the already robust diplomatic and economic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey. In 2011 trade between the two countries amounted to over €5.5 billion.

The Netherlands is one of the largest foreign investors in Turkey. Turkish investments in the Netherlands are also on the rise. Led by the chairman of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), Bernard Wientjes, a trade delegation of 10 CEOs of Dutch multinationals and over 80 representatives of small and medium-sized Dutch enterprises (SMEs) will be accompanying the prime minister. Various seminars and company visits will give Dutch and Turkish businesses a chance to establish contacts and deepen existing relationships. The focus will be on the following sectors: life sciences, traffic management, clean technology, and food safety and security.

Trade between the Netherlands and Turkey has tripled over the past 10 years. Economic ties between the two countries are strong, and there is scope for further growth. Diplomatic ties, too, have been strong for centuries. 2012 is the 400th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey. Both countries have done a great deal to commemorate this event. For example, Turkish President Abdullah Gül paid a State visit to the Netherlands in April.

Tuesday 6 November
Mr Rutte will start his programme in Ankara on Tuesday 6 November, by formally opening the trade mission involving the 80 Dutch SMEs mentioned above. After that, the prime minister and Ms Ploumen will visit the future home of a De Meeuw/ABC plant. They will officially kick off the construction of the new factory, which will produce prefabricated houses and workplaces. That afternoon, in the official portion of the programme, the prime minister will lay a wreath at the Mausoleum. Then he will meet with President Gül and with Prime Minister Erdoğan to discuss matters including economic cooperation and 400 years of diplomatic relations. In the evening there will be an official dinner.

Wednesday 7 November
On the morning of Wednesday 7 November Mr Rutte will participate in a roundtable discussion in Istanbul with Ali Babacan, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs, and the ten CEOs mentioned above. In addition, Mr Rutte will talk with representatives of the Turkish and Dutch business communities about opportunities to work together in the field of innovation. In the afternoon he will deliver an opening speech at a seminar on sustainability as a competitive advantage, where Dutch and Turkish companies will share experiences relating to sustainable business practices. He will also take part in a innovation seminar organised by Eindhoven Brainport and Istanbul Technical University. Mr Rutte will conclude his visit by meeting with the Dutch trade delegation to discuss their experiences and successes during the trip.

Source: Dutch government