The delegation, received in the UAE by H.E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade and in Masdar by Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, discussed a number of possible strategic co-operations in a bid to promote and facilitate mutually beneficial economic relationships.
The discussions addressing the outlook for economic developments, especially in the field of infrastructure and sustainability, environmental policy, business development opportunities as well as port development policy, were led by H.E. Sheikha Lubna and H.E. Mr. Maxime Verhagen, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.
H.E. Sheikha Lubna said: “This meeting today builds on an historic relationship. Trade was always considered the most important factor for relations between the Netherlands and the UAE, and these ties continue to become stronger today. In fact, most people would be surprised to know that the Netherlands’ ties with the Arab world date back more than three centuries.” “The discussions that took place today, I am sure, will heed long term benefits that will be crucial for both our countries.”
The long historical relations between the two nations are reflected through thriving trade relations and cultural and academic exchange; in addition, a large number of Dutch companies and Dutch expatriates are also based in the UAE today. Moreover, in 2002, the UAE opened an embassy at The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government. The Netherlands also opened the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency in the UAE in 2008.
Commenting on the visit, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO, Masdar, said: “We are honored to welcome their Royal Highnesses to Masdar, to showcase our progress and the partnerships we enjoy and to build on those successes through exploring other areas of possible collaboration.”
Masdar has collaborated with Dutch company 2getthere to implement the City’s Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system, the state of the art pilot project which forms part of Masdar’s sustainable transport system.
“We aim to continue partnering with Dutch companies on such innovative projects to help accelerate, develop and disseminate renewable energy and clean technologies,” he added.
The Netherlands rank fourth highest in Europe in terms of wind power production. Initially, wind farms were placed onshore, but since 2006, they can be found offshore across the Netherlands as well.
Their Royal Highnesses and their accompanying delegation were received by executives of Masdar including: Frank Wouters, Director, Masdar Power; and Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute.
The Netherlands announced last year it will gear its renewable energy policy to meet the binding European Union target of 14 per cent renewable energy target in 2020 in a more cost-effective way. The improved support scheme, called ‘SDE+’, builds on 15 years of experience of stimulating renewable energy.
The royal delegation’s visit started with a short explanation of Masdar City at scale model followed by a ride in one of the PRTs. Upon arriving at the PRT station at Masdar Institute campus, one of the world’s most sustainable campuses for graduate level students and the first research-driven institution in the region dedicated to finding solutions to the challenges of future energy and sustainability, the delegation was escorted to sign the VIP guest book before being taken to the meeting room.
Masdar represents a multifaceted approach to renewable energy and comprises of the integrated business units —Masdar Capital, Masdar Carbon, Masdar Power, Masdar City, and Masdar Institute. The visit came ahead of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the world’s foremost annual meeting committed to promoting advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency and the water and waste sectors by engaging political, business, finance, academic and industry leaders to drive innovation, business and investment opportunities in response to the growing need for sustainable energy. The fifth edition of WFES will run from 16th to 19th January, 2012 and will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).