Australia and The Netherlands – closer cooperation on global issues and strengthened economic ties

Media release

27 February 2014

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Netherlands Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans underscored the close relationship between their two countries by signing a Declaration of Intent establishing a Strategic Dialogue today in Canberra.

The Strategic Dialogue will involve regular ministerial meetings to promote greater cooperation on global security and economic issues, strengthen two-way trade and investment, and enhance further the substantial people-to-people links between Australia and The Netherlands.

Australia and The Netherlands cooperate closely as like-minded partners on a broad range of international security issues, including on counter-terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The two countries enjoy an extensive trade and investment relationship. The Netherlands was Australia's fourth largest source of Foreign Direct Investment in 2012, and is Australia's second largest export destination in Europe, after the United Kingdom.

Australia and The Netherlands also share deep people-to-people links, dating back to the historic landing of the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog off the coast of Western Australia almost 400 year ago, through to the 300,000-strong Dutch community in Australia now and the 15,000-strong Australian community in The Netherlands.

By signing the Declaration of Intent, the Ministers marked an even greater ambition for this friendship between Australia and The Netherlands.

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