Speech by His Majesty the King at the networking reception during the state visit to China, Shanghai

Ladies and gentlemen, wanshang hao, Good evening

Welcome, everyone. We are delighted to see you all here today.

And a special welcome to our Chinese guests. We’re so pleased that you are here to celebrate the close ties between our two countries.

Tomorrow we will conclude our state visit to this beautiful country and return to the Netherlands. The past few days have been a very special experience for us. We have visited China several times before. But this visit has made our ties with China even stronger.

That is thanks to President Xi Jinping and his wife, who have given us such a warm welcome. But it is also thanks to the meetings we have had with you and many administrators, business leaders and professionals, as well as members of the public.

As entrepreneurs, you know all about the economic relations between our two countries. President Xi Jinping referred to the port of Rotterdam as your ‘gateway to Europe’. Almost a quarter of all containers entering Rotterdam come from China. The Netherlands is contributing to Chinese prosperity. Just as China is contributing to ours.

We are one of China’s main European investment partners. Over a thousand Dutch businesses are active in this country. And the Netherlands is China’s tenth-biggest trade partner.

But our partnership is about much more than trade. Increasingly, we are working together to promote sustainable development in general. And it’s this partnership, in particular, that we’ve tried to highlight in recent days. For instance through our visit, this morning, to Chongming Island. There, our focus was on issues such as nature management and sustainable food production near cities.

Yesterday we visited the Loess Plateau – the cradle of Chinese civilisation. It’s marvellous to see how China is restoring the region’s vulnerable ecosystem, giving it a new, sustainable future. The Netherlands is proud to contribute to endeavours of this kind – endeavours that promote balanced growth while respecting the natural environment.

China and the Netherlands both excel in developing and applying knowledge. Smart solutions for the issues we both face.

Over the last few days we’ve seen how productive Chinese-Dutch partnerships are. Not only in agriculture, but also in areas like nature management, sustainable urban development and health care.

The Netherlands attaches great importance to its partnership with China. And we welcome all the new initiatives that have been taken to broaden and deepen this partnership. Many of you are working together to achieve this goal. I wish you every success.

I should like to propose a toast.

To China and the Netherlands,

To our partnership,

To our friendship!.