Employers angry at Dutch plans to leave UN trade group Unido

Dutch employers are angry at the government’s plans to pull out of a United Nations organisation set up to stimulate trade and production in developing countries.

The Financieele Dagblad reports that Unido’s work dovetails with the cabinet’s plans to make aid work in a more trade-related way.

The plan to pull out of Unido stems from the previous government but aid minister Lilianne Ploumen plans to push it through, saving an annual €1.8m in contribution fees, the paper says.

Tenders

‘We do not understand why the Netherlands is leaving a group which works towards strengthening the economic capacity of developing countries,’ Sam Stevens of employers’ organisation VNO-NCW said. Unido has 170 member states.

Micha van Lin, head of international strategy at engineering sector organisation FME-CWM, said there will be consquences for Dutch industry. ‘Unido works with open tenders… but once you are no longer a member, you have no more influence on the agenda and priorities,’ he said.

VVD parliamentarian René Leegte says the organisation has little added value. ‘If companies want to continue with it, let them come up with the €2m,’ he said.