|Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is interviewed by Xinhua News Agency in Hague, the Netherlands, March 17, 2014. (Xinhua/Gong Bing)
THE HAGUE, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the Netherlands will be his first to a European country and will further strengthen bilateral ties, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Xinhua recently.
"I believe there is so much we have to offer each other, politically, culturally and economically," said Rutte, who last met Xi during an official visit to Beijing in November last year.
Latest statistics show that bilateral economic trade between China and the Netherlands reached a new high of 70.15 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, while year-on-year growth hit 3.8 percent.
For 11 consecutive years, the Netherlands has been China's second-biggest trade partner in the EU. At the same time, China has been the second biggest partner to the Netherlands for four consecutive years taking into account the number of foreign investment projects.
"We in the Netherlands see China as a major trading partner. And the Netherlands currently is China's second largest trading partner in the European Union and the tenth largest worldwide," Rutte pointed out, "We can learn a lot from each other."
He cited fast-growing sectors such as agri-food, water resources, the creative industry and high tech as examples. "These sectors are growing fast in China and the Netherlands has a great deal of innovative expertise and knowledge," he said.
For Rutte, the cooperation between the two counties is not limited to the field of economy. "And of course we work together in other fields as well. Our armed forces are working closely with one and another in Mali," he said.
"I was so proud to see the big yellow duck," he continued, "and in the area of art, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra visited Beijing and was being conducted by a Chinese conductor."
Talking about the Nuclear Security Summit as the host, the prime minister said "the upcoming NSS is another good example (of the Dutch-Chinese cooperation) and I am glad that President Xi Jinping will be attending the summit personally on Monday and Tuesday."
"The direct involvement of world leaders will make it possible to achieve results that otherwise would be beyond our reach," he said.
He introduced that the goal of the Summit is to prevent nuclear terrorism, and to reach effective agreements. "Our aims for the summit are, first of all, to reduce the amount of dangerous nuclear materials in the world, to improve the security of existing materials and thirdly to step up international cooperation in this area."
The prime minister highly praised China's efforts to the nuclear security. "There is the China progress report 2014 in terms of what happened since 2010. China is an example to many other countries."
"I am looking forward to a highly successful state visit of Chinese president and a highly successful summit," he said.