JAKARTA, 9 June 2015 – The Kingdom of the Netherlands reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening relationship and closer cooperation with ASEAN. H.E. Rob Swartbol conveyed this message to H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, during his presentation of credentials as Ambassador of Netherlands to ASEAN yesterday.

According to Ambassador Swartbol, the Netherlands recognises the important role played by ASEAN in the regional affairs and beyond, and that ASEAN sets a prime example for the regional cooperation framework that contributes immensely to regional peace and stability. He reaffirmed that the Netherlands will seek to enhance greater practical cooperation with ASEAN, particularly in the areas of trade, investment, education, science and technology, among others. This will be built upon the good foundation laid bilaterally with ASEAN Member States and within the ASEAN-EU framework. He further said that the Netherlands will continue to support human resource development through the offer of scholarships to ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat. He expressed his country’s readiness to offer capacity building programme in international law and the Law of the Sea.

SG Minh congratulated Ambassador Swartbol on assuming his duty as Dutch Ambassador to ASEAN and welcomed his Government’s commitment in pursuing closer relationship and cooperation with ASEAN. SG Minh stated that the Netherlands has vast expertise and experience which ASEAN can benefit from. He also updated Ambassador Swartbol on the progress of the ASEAN Community building, and encouraged the Netherlands to actively engage and explore potential collaboration and cooperation with ASEAN in support of the ASEAN Community building by 2015 and beyond. He stated that in general ASEAN will continue to place importance on its outward-looking external relations, and appreciates the support from ASEAN’s external partners and friends for the Community building efforts and for initiatives that contribute to regional peace and stability.