Sunday 20 June 2021

Five years after being sworn in, the Dutch king and queen are good for business

The king and queen pose with guests invited to lunch because of their contribution to the arts, society and business. Photo: RVD/Jeroen van der Meyde

King Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima are good value for money and have considerable added value for the Dutch economy, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday.

Five years ago, when Willem-Alexander was sworn in as king, he pledged to do more to boost the Dutch economy and business leaders are convinced he is having an impact, the paper said.

Corporate executives, ambassadors and senior civil servants have told the paper that the royal couple are keen to see their visits to companies followed up, to make sure the firms are put in touch with the right people for financing or alliances.

‘Since the visit, we have had one new order after another,’ one entrepreneur from the Frisian city of Sneek said. ‘It is unbelievable.’ A royal visit is seen as an unofficial stamp of approval and that means a turnover boost, the paper said.

The Dutch royal family cost the taxpayer some €40m a year and  it is impossible to say what sort of a return that generates. However, trade missions to China and Australia generated at least €700m in new contracts.

In addition, the king’s state visits always have a strong business element, the FD said.

Sources told the paper that the king and queen will focus extra attention on energy transition and on citizen cooperatives in the coming years.

Shareholdings

Meanwhile, the royal family’s website states that the king does not have any shares in companies which are Koninklijk, or royal. This means, the Telegraaf points out, that the king does not invest in KPN, Philips or Shell.

However, the family has been long thought to be major investors in Shell and the website refers to the king, rather than his mother Beatrix, the paper points out.

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