Prime minister Mark Rutte leads a two-day trade mission to Turkey on Tuesday, accompanied by Lilianne Ploumen, the new minister for foreign trade and development aid.
Rutte was invited by Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of the ongoing celebrations marking 400 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The aim of the mission is to further strengthen diplomatic and economic ties between the Netherlands and Turkey. The Netherlands is one of the biggest foreign investors in Turkey, and trade between the two countries has tripled over the past 10 years, the foreign ministry said.
The trade mission includes employers’ leader Bernard Wientjes, 10 chief executives from Dutch multinationals and around 80 representatives of smaller firms.
ABN Amro economist Arjen van Dijkhuizen told BNR radio the Turkish economy is structurally one of the fastest growing in Europe. ‘Turkey, with 80 million inhabitants, is a massive consumer market,’ he said. ‘It is reasonably close to the Netherlands and positioned at a strategic point between east and west.’
Retail, textiles, financial services, energy, construction and tourism are sectors offering good opportunities to Dutch firms, Van Dijkhuizen said.