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Why North America Loves Holland

As global innovators and powerful trade partners, the Netherlands, United States and Canada have formed strong bonds that are here to stay.

For more information, read about Dutch-North American relations now on the 2 blogs below:


Celebrating Holland-Canada Ties

A look at the rich connection between Canada and the Netherlands on Canada Day

On July 1, we celebrate the history of Holland’s long-time, cherished friendship with Canada. On this day 151 years ago, Canada became a self-governing federation with the passage of the British North America (BNA) Act. Seventy-eight years after the passage of the BNA Act, Canada granted the Netherlands the greatest gift of all time: liberation from World War II.

Over the years, Canada and the Netherlands have cultivated a unique relationship as partners in trade, innovation and investment. In fact, today, Canada is home to more than a million individuals of Dutch descent due to substantial immigration in the 1950s and 1960s and the strong Dutch-Canadian friendship. Let’s take a closer look at the decades-old Dutch-Canadian bond.

Holland: Canada’s Gateway to Europe

The Netherlands is Canada’s fifth largest trading partner and has a sophisticated logistics infrastructure, which allows Holland to serve as Canada’s gateway to Europe. The Port of Rotterdam alone handles more than 25 percent of Canadian exports to the continent. Bilateral trade between Canada and the Netherlands was valued at approximately $6.5 billion in 2016 and, to this day, the Netherlands remains one of Canada’s most important partners in trade.

Canadian Companies Go Dutch

Canadian companies choose to go Dutch thanks to Holland’s vibrant culture and emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition, the Dutch workforce is business-savvy and multilingual—a major benefit for a multicultural country like Canada where English and French are used throughout the business world. Handle Hands, Bredero Shaw, Northland Power’s Gemini Wind Park, Clearcable and Kinaxis are just a few success stories of Canadian companies that have invested in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the Netherlands is a major supporter of the Canadian economy as Canada’s second largest source of foreign direct investment.

Twin Cities Across the Atlantic

The Dutch City of Apeldoorn and the Canadian City of Burlington exemplify the strong bond between the Netherlands and Canada. Mayor Rob MacIsaac of Burlington and Mayor Fred de Graaf of Apeldoorn signed an official “twinning agreement” on May 6, 2005, solidifying the friendship between the two cities. The agreement joined the two cities in a mutual commitment to their communities and a spirit of cooperation. It has since facilitated cultural conversations and the exchange of ideas, particularly in the areas of responsible development and the environment.

Birth of the World’s Largest Tulip Festival

In 1945, as a token of their gratitude to the Canadians for providing shelter to the Dutch Royal Family during World War II and the pivotal role of the Canadian military in liberating the Netherlands, the Dutch sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa. As a result, Ottawa became famous for its tulips. In 1953, the Ottawa Board of Trade organized the first “Canadian Tulip Festival.” It’s now known as the largest tulip festival in the world, while the Netherlands continues to be considered the “flower shop of the world,” as well as the world’s largest exporter of tulips. In Canada, there are several famous Dutch tulips, such as the “Canadian Liberator” and the “Canada 150”—reminders of the shared history and values between Canada and the Netherlands.

Seven Decades and Counting

In order to look forward, it’s important to remember where it all started. Seventy-three years of rich history between the Netherlands and Canada signifies a partnership that is here to stay. To all of our Canadian friends and business investors, we wish you a happy Canada Day.

May our joint commitment to creating a more prosperous world through innovation and investment remain strong for decades to come.

BLOG 2: Celebrating Dutch-American Ties

Revel in the economic and cultural ties between Americans and the Dutch

More than 400 years ago, the Netherlands brought Dutch influence to America, sharing well-established values of investment and trade. We settled New Amsterdam and laid the foundation for what would later become the country’s financial epicenter: New York City.

Today, our centuries’ old partnership remains stronger than ever and is America’s oldest continuous relationship with any country. In fact, John Adams, second president of the US, created the country’s first international embassy in The Hague in 1782.

As old friends, we’re toasting America by looking back at some of our important Dutch-American ties.

Dutch Investment Fuels US Job Creation

Despite being only roughly the size of the State of Maryland, the Netherlands is one of the top five largest foreign investors in the US. More than 850 iconic Dutch brands operate in America, including Shell, KLM, Louis Dreyfus Co., TomTom, and AkzoNobel.

Robust economic ties between Holland and the US support 740,000 American jobs. That’s the equivalent of daily passengers who travel through New York’s Grand Central Station or the total number of cars that cross San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge each week.

While Holland supports employment across the US, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts retain the largest number of Dutch-created jobs.

Why US Companies Go Dutch

The Dutch roll out the orange carpet for US companies, making Holland an attractive location for American foreign direct investment. Thanks to our pro-business climate, English-speaking workforce, and central European location, nearly 2,500 US companies have international operations in Holland.

Abbott, Coca-Cola, Cisco Systems, FedEx, Heinz, and Nike are just a few of the major US businesses that invest in the Netherlands.

Powerful Trade Partners

The Netherlands is one of America’s top ten export countries and in the top 15 for overall trade with the US. In 2017, Holland and the US traded $59.3 billion in goods.

Agri/food is one shared industry of expertise, as Holland ranks second only to the US in agri/food exports worldwide. Americans regularly enjoy our famous foods including chocolate, cheese, tomatoes and of course on summer holidays, beer. Holland also influences other favorite holidays, like Valentine’s Day, considering you can thank the Dutch for your flowers.

Additional Dutch exports to the US include pharmaceuticals, computer and electrical machinery, plastics, and other popular consumer goods. In fact, Dutch products are so well-integrated into American life that it’s hard to imagine households without them.

Innovation Goes Dutch

Like America, Holland has a history of global influence, from inventing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to popularizing orange carrots and bicycles.

Today, both Holland and the US rank among the world’s top six most innovative countries according to the 2018 Global Innovation Index. Our economies score high on education, infrastructure, and business sophistication, outpacing countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany.

The Netherlands’ entrepreneurial climate and affinity for forward-thinking ideas attract US companies looking to expand abroad. It’s one reason why Flexport, a digital startup seeking to disrupt the logistics industry, expanded in Holland in 2016.

However, large American companies also take advantage of Dutch educational resources. For instance, Google recently announced a €500 million expansion to its data center in Eemshaven, thanks to Holland’s unparalleled technology infrastructure and highly-educated workforce. In fact, the Eemshaven data center was Google’s first data center to run on 100 percent renewable energy from its first day of operation.

Here’s To The Next 400 Years

With significant historical relations and shared leadership in today’s most promising industries, it’s clear that the Netherlands and the US have a strong bond.

To our American investors in the Netherlands, we thank you for choosing to invest in Holland. May our shared values of freedom, open economics and innovation ensure a continuing and prosperous relationship for years to come! SOURCE REFERENCE:


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