Short speech by His Majesty the King at the networking lunch for businesses from New Zealand and the Netherlands, Auckland
Ladies and gentlemen,
It's great to be here with you today. You are a special group of people, because you've discovered something that others have not: New Zealand and the Netherlands are actually not far away from each other at all.
The distance between us is small because we share the same mentality. An open mentality, focused on trade and exports. On cross-border partnerships. On doing business based on clear norms and values. Your word is your bond, a deal is a deal and delivering quality is a must.
The distance between us is small because we are both powerhouses in the fields of horticulture, agriculture and food production. Almost half of all exports from New Zealand are agricultural products.
And the Netherlands is the world's second-biggest agricultural exporter. These achievements have formed a strong bond between us.
The distance between us is small because we face the same challenges. How can we make our farming sector and our economy more sustainable? How should we respond to climate change? How do we maintain our edge as leading economies? In each of these areas, New Zealand and the Netherlands have a great deal in common.
More and more companies are discovering that we share a natural affinity. And they're finding success as a result. Take Fonterra, whose European head office is located in the Netherlands. Last year I attended the opening of two new dairy factories in Friesland, where Fonterra and Dutch cheese producer Royal A-ware are working side by side.
Our researchers are also working together closely. The universities of Wageningen and Massey, for instance, agreed today to pool their green expertise. That's great news.
Around fiffty companies - big and small - are taking part in the trade mission that is running alongside our state visit. A number of you have been active in New Zealand for some time. Others are newcomers. But for all of you it's a fantastic opportunity to meet so many of your counterparts from leading New Zealand companies. Not only in the agriculture and food sectors, but also in services, energy, life sciences, water management and sport.
All of you understand how close our countries really are. Well, OK. There's the small matter of the 19,000 kilometres of physical distance between Amsterdam and Auckland. But of course, in this digital age that's certainly not an obstacle!
I hope you all make many inspiring new contacts during our visit.
I'd like to close with a toast:
To New Zealand and the Netherlands.
And to many new partnerships between us.