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'Trade mission on alternative energy to visit Qatar this year'

Ramy Salama


A HIGH level trade delegation of business leaders and officials from the Netherlands with a focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy and capture and storage of carbon dioxide will be visiting Qatar later this year, the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Qatar HE Yvette Van Eechoud told Qatar Tribune.

In a recent interview, the ambassador noted that the delegation would focus on energy efficiency and alternative energy sources, things for which the Netherlands has gained international recognition.

"We're going to host an energy mission this year which focuses on energy efficiency, renewable energies and capture and storage of CO2. I think it's good and very timely to have energy missions coming up with solutions not just on how to get more fossil fuels out of the ground, but rather to attend to the transition to a cleaner economy. Even Qatar, a country with an abundance of natural gas, needs to make the transition and I think now is the right time," she said.

"We all feel the downturn in the international economy and the impact of the oil price decline, but I think a lot of Dutch companies are not really deterred by that, simply because they bring efficiency measures and practical solutions. So, in dire times when especially governments, have to cut budgets, Dutch companies can step up to the plate and present efficient solutions, because efficiency is in our DNA! It's in our mentality to save on money, energy and time and the Dutch will always find a way to do things quicker, smarter and with less cost," she added, elaborating on her country's experience in these fields.

The visit is in line with an increasing cooperation in trade between the two countries, according to the ambassador, which is understandable given that the Netherlands is the second largest foreign investor in Qatar (after the US).

"The trade volume between the two countries is increasing, and it has reached US$1 billion, and in terms of investment we're still the second largest investor in Qatar, primarily of course because of Royal Dutch Shell and their collaboration with Qatar Petroleum on the cutting-edge Pearl Gas-To-Liquid plant in Ras Laffan."

The ambassador underlined the significance of countercyclical investments in such fields, especially in an economy in which cutting costs becomes paramount.

"Even if there is an economic downturn in the sense of cutting budgets, we still see companies coming to Qatar, and they see a lot of potential here. We support this, as I think it is important to think countercyclical: in times of downturn, one needs to actually invest a little extra to make sure one can bounce back more quickly once growth picks up again," she said, concluding,"As they say, where there is a crisis there is always an opportunity, and the opportunity is to really invest in an efficient, smart and future-proof economy, and this is where Dutch companies and institutions are great partners to rely on."


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