Netherlands-Russia Bilateral Year kicks off

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the Netherlands on April 8 to begin the Netherlands-Russia Bilateral Year. Together with Queen Beatrix, Putin will officially open the bilateral year during which the two nations will highlight their economic partnership and strong cultural ties. Putin will also meet with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The Netherlands is Russia’s second largest trading partner after China and followed by Germany. In 2012, Dutch import from Russia grew by 20 percent to 20.3 billion euros, mainly due to increased volumes of natural gas combined with higher oil prices. Some 92 percent of import from Russia is fossil fuels. Dutch exports to Russia in 2012 grew by 11 percent to a value of 7.1 billion euros. There was a significantly higher demand for Dutch machinery and equipment.

Prior to his visit, Putin wrote a letter to the people of the Netherlands which was published in the Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf. Putin’s letter stressed the importance of economic cooperation with the Netherlands, particularly in the areas of energy, high technology and innovation, and agricultural and food industries.

Besides trade and investment relations, the Bilateral Year also provides scope for cooperation on political and social projects and initiatives, including joint ventures involving the legal system, education, science and sport, and relations between municipal and provincial authorities.

Further information: www.nlrf2013.nl

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