By Roy Lie Atjam
The Hague, 7 August 2023. The Pakistan diplomatic representative in the Netherlands organized the Pakistani Mango Fest 2023, celebrating three-quarters of a century of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the Netherlands.
Pakistan is the world’s Sixt largest mango producer and fourth-largest exporter of fresh mangoes. The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest importer and re-exporter of mangoes. Mango production in Pakistan is a huge business. Mangoes are produced at certified farms and processed in HACCP-certified facilities.
The delicious spread of Pakistani cuisine was a hit among the guests, with everyone raving about the juicy Chaunsa mangoes and flavourful basmati rice biryani. Mangoes can be enjoyed in sorbets, ice cream, puddings, curries, kuchelaor even mango tea.
The 2023 mango-tasting festival at Pakistan House attracted a significant number of attendees.
Apart from the Dutch- Pakistani business community, the 2023 Pakistani Mango Fest was attended by Dutch officials, Ambassador Karin Mossenlechener, Director of the Asia and Oceania Department at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, furthermore Ambassadors of Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Greece, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, New Zealand,Oman, Panama, Romania, South Africa, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay, all joined in the celebration of the King of Fruits “Mango”
After cordially welcoming his guests, H.E. Ambassador Suljuk Mustansar Tarar went on to highlight 75 years of Pakistan-Netherlands bilateral relations which cover politics, trade, education, water management, capacity development and many other facets.
“The Pakistani diplomat elaborated the economic and trade content of the relations saying that bilateral trade between the two countries increased in the last few years to more than $2 billion. The Dutch companies are among the key investors in Pakistan.
“Over the long period of time, the Dutch businesses and market has long-held confidence in Pakistani market, manufacturers and exporters.”
Highlighting the uniqueness of Pakistani mangoes, Ambassador Tarar said “Pakistan is the 6th largest producer and the 4th largest exporter of mangoes in the world which are exported across the world and the Netherlands is an important growing market.”
Ambassador Suljuk informed that Pakistani experts through extensive research and development (R&D) have succeeded in making many improvements in the traditional chaunsa variety and developed its commercial sub-types viz. Safaid chaunsa, Azeem chaunsa, black chaunsa and late chaunsa etc, added the statement.
The guests were also served Pakistani Biryani made from Pakistani Basmati rice, Tarar informed the audience that Pakistan is the top supplier of Basmati rice to the EU and the Netherlands as well.
In her remarks, Ambassador Karin Mossenlechener mentioned that bilateral relations have been consistently progressing in all areas. She remarked that different activities have been organised by both sides to celebrate the landmark year. She elaborated through the history of bilateral relations how the two countries stood with each other in times of natural disasters.
She mentioned that in 1953 when the Netherlands faced floods and Pakistanis raised funds. Highlighting the importance of people-to-people contact, Ambassador Karin Mossenlechener also appreciated the leveraging of Pakistani arts and culture by the Pakistan Embassy.
The event was organized with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan which provided mangoes for the occasion and supported by the Netherlands-based leading Diplomat Magazine.
Pictures are a courtesy of the Embassy of Pakistan in The Hague and from Diplomat Magazine photographer, Roy Strik.