Оn 27th of April The Netherlands celebrates its national day . Since this is the birthday of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, the day is called ‘King’s Day’.
After an absence of two years, the Covid situation allows the Embassy to hold a national day reception again. Considering the war in Ukraineae, the Embassy has decided to scale down this event,, compared to previous years.
The reception will be hosted by H.E. Pauline EIZEMA, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Azerbaijan. Guest of Honour will be His Excellency Khalaf KHALAFOV, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
This year, the Netherlands and Azerbaijan celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations. Letters of congratulations were exchanged between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and Azerbaijan.
On 15 March of this year, successful political consultations between the two countries took place in the Netherlands. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Khalafov travelled to the Netherlands for this important meeting. These consultations provided an excellent basis to continue working together.
With the pandemic subsiding, there is an increased interest of Dutch companies to work with Azerbaijan. Areas of interest are agriculture, water, renewable energy, logistics and sustainable city development. water, renewable energy, logistics, sustainable urban development
Other areas of cooperation between the two countries include
education, rule of law, gender and human rights, twinning and social development.
The guests include representatives of the government of Azerbaijan, diplomatic corps and partners from the economic, educational, cultural and social sectors. Since orange is the national colour of the Netherlands, the guests have been asked to wear ‘a touch or orange’.
The Embassy would like to thank all its partners for their cooperation and looks forward to a successful event!
Areas of cooperation in 2022
There are several areas in which the two countries expect to cooperate in 2022 and coming years.
The Netherlands is the second food-exporting nation, and has the most developed agricultural sector in the world, which goes hand in hand with the fact that for Azerbaijan agriculture is one the priority sectors in the diversification of its economy.
After an absence of two years due to covid, the embassy is participating in the Caspian Agro exhibition again in May 2022. Several Dutch agricultural companies will be represented in the Netherlands pavilion. Signify and Hortilux are the world leaders in smart lighting. FEX B.V. is an exporter of cut flowers; RijkZwaan a vegetable breeding company. Svensson – the pioneer and world leader in climate control and energy efficiency through textile-based solutions. Ronar B.V. is specialized in supply of advanced agricultural equipment and products from the leading Dutch manufacturers.
We also see scope for more import of Dutch food products. Several Dutch food and drinks will be served during the reception. The Embassy will explore the options to import more Dutch food items to Azerbaijan in the coming years.
The Netherlands is built on water; therefore, we have centuries long experience in the water sector. Since the Azerbaijani government has identified water problems in the country, Dutch companies are looking into solutions, together with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan Republic. Companies like Deltares, Witteveen & Bos, and Royal Haskoning have long standing experience and are discussing renewed options with their Azerbaijani partners.
The Port of Baku has an ongoing cooperation with the logistics hub Venlo in the Netherlands. The Port signed an agreement with the Dutch company Cabooter Group. This cooperation will help attract other Dutch and European businesses to the Port of Baku. The development of the free economic zone will make it even more attractive.
The Port of Baku has also started a training program with two Dutch education institutions: Fontys University and Gilde Institute. Employees of the Port, representatives of the logistics companies in Azerbaijan, as well as other candidates who want to work in the transport, trade and logistics field have been attending training programs in the Netherlands.
Sustainable urban development
currently there is a lot of attention to sustainable city development in Azerbaijan. The Netherlands has a lot of experience in this area. Several architects have been working in this country, which was highlighted during an event the Embassy hosted last year.
The Dutch company Signify (former Philips Lighting) is providing sustainable lighting options for Baku and other cities. This will contribute substantially towards energy saving.
Dutch companies continue to be involved in the energy sector. The Netherlands welcomes the efforts of Azerbaijan to diversify its economy. This is not only important to avoid reliance on only one sector, but also with a view to the environment and climate.
Azerbaijan has a lot of wind on its Caspian Sea coast, so there is an interest to develop offshore wind energy. The World Bank Group has started consultations on the development of a roadmap. This project is financed from the ESMAP (Energy Sector Management Assistance) programme which is co-funded by the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is keen to support these efforts. The development of offshore wind development in the North Sea started many years ago. These projects are now being executed by the private sector without government subsidies. The Netherlands has a strong consortium of companies under the heading of ‘wind water works’, who would welcome cooperation with Azerbaijan.
The Embassy supports various projects in the field of gender equality. With financial support from the Netherlands, Women Resource Centres in Bilasuvar and Jalilabad have been supported and established. This is one of the ways we contribute to greater equality and the improvement of women’s socio-economic rights by enabling women in rural areas to participate fully and equitably in the economic and social life of their communities. In this respect, the embassy values the cooperation with Azerbaijani partners, such as the State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs and UNDP, and highly appreciates the progress made up to now.
Cooperation in education is an excellent way to bring people together and share experiences and knowledge. There is already cooperation between Dutch and Azerbaijani universities, such as the ADA University and Maastricht University and School of Management.
The Embassy will explore more opportunities of cooperation between education institutions and will organize meetings with alumni who have studied in the Netherlands.
In 2021 the Embassy had an opportunity to organize a cultural event in Azerbaijan National Museum of Art, focusing on the Netherlands’ heritage in architecture of Azerbaijan. During the event contemporary work of Dutch architecture companies, such as UN Studio and Dutch Wheels, was demonstrated, and it also presented the influence of Dutch architecture on architecture of Azerbaijan since early 20th century.
The Netherlands also participates in other cultural events like the jazz festival.