By George M. Ammerlaan, Chairman Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands.
Dutch Consul General Wilfred Mohr Presents Update on Hong Kong in The Hague.
More than sixty guests joined a luncheon meeting at the head office of NIBC Bank on Carnegieplein in The Hague on Monday 2 February to listen to a presentation by the Dutch Consul General in Hong Kong, Mr. Wilfred Mohr. The meeting was organized by the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands in cooperation with the Netherlands Hong Kong Society and the NIBC Bank.
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Mr. Machiel Jansen Schoonhoven, Director of NIBC Bank, welcomed the guests in their impressive auditorium. In his welcoming remarks he mentioned that the bank performed well in 2014, by focusing on its relationships with customers.
Mr. Hemmy Wong, Chairman of the Netherlands Hong Kong Society, welcomed guests and especially to its members. It was established in 1978 and is world’s oldest Hong Kong association of its kind.
The Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands, George Ammerlaan, briefed the audience about the trade flows between Hong Kong and the Netherlands in 2014. The Netherlands continued to be the third largest market for Hong Kong goods in Europe, after Germany and the UK. Hong Kong’s total exports in 2014 to the Netherlands represented a value of US$ 6.05 billion, up 12.7% compared with 2013.
Ammerlaan also mentioned that Dutch exports to Hong Kong decreased by just 1.7% in 2014 to a value of US$ 3.33 billion. The largest export commodity by far was milk and milk powder (not including butter and cheese). Exports of these products alone represented a value of US$ 1.02 billion.
Given the volume of trade between the Netherlands and Hong Kong, it is clear that the port on the South China coast has not lost its importance or relevance, said Ammerlaan, who added that about 25% of China’s total exports and imports leave or enter China via Hong Kong.
In his well-received keynote speech, Dutch Consul General to Hong Kong Mr. Wilfred Mohr addressed the political developments in Hong Kong in 2014. He focused on the demonstrations in the city that captivated the world for 79 days. Mr. Mohr emphasized on the peaceful and orderly nature of the events. Furthermore, he stressed the framework the new law on universal suffrage must fit in.
The meeting at the NIBC Bank was concluded with a networking lunch in a meeting room overlooking the Peace Palace.