The English Speaking Union (ESU) hosted a discussion with Ambassador of the Netherlands Wouter Plomp, at the residence of Khalid Malik, president of the ESU. The event was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, members of the ESU and other dignitaries.
Mr Malik welcomed the guests and introduced Ziaur Rahman Zabeeh, member of the ESU Executive Council and the host for the evening.
Ambassador Plomp said: “I was invited to talk about Netherlands-Pakistan relations with a focus on the economy but let me start by pointing out that Netherlands-Pakistani relations do back 400 years when in Thatta, near Karachi, was the first Dutch trading post.
“If we go back 50 years, the city of Karachi was an extremely important post for KLM, the royal Dutch airlines, because it was halfway between the Netherlands and Indonesia. We actually had the Midway House in Karachi where the KLM passengers and crews stayed. My first encounter with Pakistan was in the early 1980s when I did a brief stint working for the Royal Dutch Airlines and I had the pleasure of staying in the Midway House twice.”
He went on to share trade figures, trends and sectors where the Netherlands sees great potential. The export of Pakistan to the Netherlands is growing steadily from approximately€400 million in 2016 to€600m in 2019. The Dutch export to Pakistan figures were 500 million in 2018 and growing as well.
The ambassador said that the Netherlands was more important as an investment partner than as just a trading partner as the Netherlands was one of the top five countries with foreign direct investments to Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2020