Dutch PM: Good that Netherlands attends G20 summit "given international developments"

Mark Rutte, January 2016
Mark Rutte, January 2016. (Photo: EU2016 NL / Wikimedia Commons)

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is excited to attend the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday. He thinks it's good that the Netherlands is participating in this year's summit. "Especially given the international developments, it is important that the Netherlands is there again as a major economy", he said to the press, according to NOS. 

The G20 summit is an annual meeting in which 20 major economies in the world discuss current issues. The Netherlands is not a permanent member and can only attend at the invitation of a G20 country. This year Germany invited the Netherlands. The last time the Netherlands took part was in 2010, invited by Canada. 

Climate, migration and free trade are main topics on the agenda for this summit. According to Rutte, free trade is a very important topic and it requires clear demands and agreements. "The Netherlands is traditionally in favor of free trade, but we must also be careful", Rutte said. "We must strive not to be naive. If you see what some other countries are doing with dumping or not keeping to agreements over an equal playing field... I also discussed that with French president Macron a couple of weeks ago: free trade must go hand in hand with not being naive."

Ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem of Finance and Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs will also take part in the summit.

Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs wants the next Dutch cabinet to push to become a permanent member of the G20. "We are the 17th largest economy in the world, our exports are in the global top five and in terms of digital infrastructure, we are in the top ten", he said earlier this year.