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Chinese New Year in The Hague

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By Joe Ray.

The Netherlands Hong Kong Business Association hosted a Chinese New Year celebration on 9 February at the splendid headquarters of the Sociëteit De Witte  in The Hague.

Guests from the fields of business, diplomacy, academia and beyond joined Mr Hans Poulis, Chairman of the Association, and Ms Shirley Lam, Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union, for an evening of networking and traditional music to usher in the Chinese Year of the Rooster.

For additional Robert Huiberts’ pictures, please open the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121611753@N07/albums/72157680901464076/with/33190615116/

Ms Shirley Lam, Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union during her speech at the Chinese New Year 2017 in the Nieuwe of Litteraire Sociëteit De Witte.

In her welcoming remarks, Ms Lam highlighted the close relationship that exists between the Netherlands and Hong Kong. “We are both relatively small and externally-oriented economies,” she explained, “yet we both form an important gateway to our hinterland, and are strong on infrastructure, logistics and business services.”

Ms Lam continued: “Hong Kong’s ties with the Netherlands go back a long way, since the first Dutch Consul in Hong Kong took up his duties in 1857. Today, our bilateral relations continue to flourish. There are at least 200 Dutch companies with their offices established in Hong Kong, and around 6,000 Dutch nationals reside in our city. Trade between us is strong; the Netherlands is our third largest trading partner among the EU member states, and Dutch exports to Hong Kong cover a wide range of merchandise. The Netherlands is also one of Hong Kong’s biggest investors.”

Chinese New Year in the Nieuwe of Litteraire Sociëteit De Witte, Plein 24, 2511 CS Den Haag, Netherlands

There are frequent high-level exchanges between Hong Kong and the Netherlands, and Ms Lam remarked that several high-profile bilateral visits had been made in 2016. “We look forward to further strengthening our ties with the Netherlands on all fronts in the year ahead,” she concluded.

Guests at the Chinese New Year’s celebrations 2017.

A particular highlight of the evening for the many guests in attendance was a barnstorming performance from the Hong Kong Drum Ensemble, a percussion group of international acclaim who were visiting The Hague as part of a European tour. Led by master percussionist Mr Ronald Chin, the group displayed extraordinary vibrancy and masterful choreography in their performance, which combined a variety of drums with other traditional Chinese instruments.

Hong Kong Drum Ensemble, Chinese New Year in the Nieuwe of Litteraire Sociëteit De Witte.

Following the opening speeches and the Ensemble’s well-received performance, guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and Chinese buffet.

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