Public Consultation on new Foreign Trade and Development Policy
06 Mar 2018 - 11:07
Source: Pixabay

The Netherlands benefits from a stable, safe and sustainable world around it. As developments on the international stage affect Dutch society at home, an active foreign policy is of national importance. Foreign trade and investment are an integral part of this, as creating sound economic opportunities abroad positively affects the welfare of The Netherlands. In order to be able to respond to the ever changing global trends and developments, The Netherlands aims to develop a new policy on international trade and development cooperation that will focus not only focus on reducing extreme poverty and contributing to a safer and more sustainable world, but will do so taking into account the modern-day complexities of the international order.

With this in mind, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag has opened a public consultation to solicit input on the new Foreign Trade and Development policy. As a trusted knowledge partner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Clingendael Institute has provided regular input for the development of this policy - for instance in the field of conflict and fragility, and in the field of climate change and private sector development. On behalf of the Ministry, we invite our partners to also contribute input for the further development of this policy. The Ministry is particularly interested in consulting with stakeholders in the field, including:

  • International NGOs working in development
  • Multinational companies and conglomerates
  • Academics and researchers
  • Civil society organisations
  • Cities and regions with international ambitions

Submitting your comments before 22 March, 2018

You can find the new policy document (context) here. The main policy priorities are listed below. In addition, there are a number of specific questions on the policy.
You can submit your written answers and comments using this  link

For the Dutch version of the consultation, please click here.

Policy priorities

As stipulated in the coalition agreement of the current government, the new foreign trade and development policy will, among others, focus on addressing the root causes of poverty, migration, terrorism and climate change. The Netherlands aims to contribute more substantially to international climate action, sustainable supply chains and inclusive economic development. Additionally, the cabinet aims to invest in market access for Dutch companies and strategic positioning on existent and growing markets.

The new strategy plays into a number of global trends:

  • The impact of rapid technological development and digitalization of trade and investment streams, The Netherlands' international earning potential and economic opportunities for various developing countries
  • Shifting patterns of global economic growth and the Dutch position in those trends
  • Changes in poverty, welfare, and demographics in developing countries, including changes relating to (irregular) migration
  • Conflicts and increasing instability in various regions and the link to refugee and migrant flows
  • Climate change and the movement towards sustainable grow, in relation to trade policy and opportunities for the Dutch private sector