STAFF REPORT FSD: Netherlands Ambassador to Pakistan Jeanette Seppen has said that they are keen to enhance trade and investment relations with Pakistan, especially in areas of agriculture and agro-based businesses.


Talking to University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Seppen said there were prospects for strengthened cooperation in livestock, agriculture and agro-based business, adding efforts were under way to encourage Dutch companies to invest in Pakistan.


She pointed out that the Netherlands had a population of about 20 million whereas it was producing food for 70 million people. “We are getting more yield from less agriculture land with the application of modern technologies.”


She said the Netherlands was helping Pakistan achieve food security that would alleviate poverty. Though the Netherlands is the fifth largest trading country in the world, its bilateral trade with Pakistan is just around $900 million.


The ambassador suggested that agricultural ties between the two countries would help them benefit from each others experiences and cited the launch of a salt-tolerant potato growing programme in Pakistan with assistance of the Netherlands.


She cited water, agriculture and energy as the major areas for cooperation between the two countries. “Pakistan is one of the most populous countries, it has talented people and if we polish their skills, the country can develop rapidly.” Seppen also stressed that women should come forward and actively take part in economic activities in Pakistan.