She was talking to The Peninsula on the eve of National Day of the Netherlands which was marked yesterday. The embassy celebrated the National Day of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Doha, on the occasion of the 50th birthday of King Willem Alexander.
“In the Netherlands, his birthday (27 April) is a national holiday called King’s Day. It is a day when everyone goes out on the streets dressed in orange outfits. There are fun festivities for children on the streets and many concerts in public spaces.”
This year, the King’s Day was marked in Doha with a special theme “Flowers and Art”.
“Flowers and art form an important part of our cultural identity and heritage. We Dutch are passionate about sharing our flowers and art with everyone,” the ambassador said when asked about the reason behind the selection of theme.
She said that it was a pride for Netherlands to host one of the world’s largest flower gardens – the Keukenhof – and being the world’s leading supplier of flowers, plants and trees.
The ambassador said the Dutch government wanted to promote the interest of Dutch businesses abroad through economic diplomacy. “Qatar aims to diversify the country’s economy by creating a balance between an oil-based and a knowledge-based economy. Dutch companies in Qatar have a diversified presence in different business sectors such as education, healthcare, energy, engineering & architecture, maritime, logistics, agriculture, horticulture and several kinds of consultancy services.”
Tahzib-Lie said that bilateral trade relations reached around €1bn during 2015. “Dutch exports amount to €440m which is increasing gradually and the Dutch imports are worth €556m which is mostly related to LNG.”
She said that there are a number of Qatari companies operating in the Netherlands: Muntajat BV (marketing and sales of petrochemicals), Qatar Petroleum International BV’s, Lusail BV in Valkenswaard at Jan Tops (equestrian), Qatar Holding etc.