Dutch PM Rutte leading biggest-ever trade mission to Africa
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is heading to South Africa next week on what will be the biggest Dutch trade mission to Africa so far, the Ministries of General Affairs and Economic Affairs announced on Tuesday. The visit will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, November 17th and 18th. The Dutch delegation is comprised of the Prime Minister, the new State Secretary of Economic Affairs Martijn van Dam and more than 70 Dutch companies and research institutions. The delegation will visit Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town. In Johannesburg they will explore opportunities for further cooperation especially with regards to the economic-mission-established House of the Future. In Cape Town they will focus on the existing cooperation between South Africa and the Netherlands in the Garden of the Future. And in Pretoria the Prime Minister and State Secretary will be received by South African president Jacob Zuma for a meeting that will focus on strengthening the close political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries. According to the Ministries, South Africa is the Netherlands' main economic partner in Africa. The Netherlands is the second largest market worldwide for agricultural products from South Africa. Trade between the two countries amounted to almost 3.5 billion euros last year. South Africa also holds great opportunities for Dutch businesses, especially in the areas of agriculture and horticulture, water, transport and logistics and healthcare.