Fiji has appointed a new Honorary Consul to the Kingdom of Netherlands to strengthen our existing ties and develop new avenues of cooperation.
Frederik de Bruijn was officially commissioned at a ceremony held in The Hague that was witnessed by some government officials, diplomats, the private sector and the Fijian diaspora in Europe.
de Bruijn, – a manager for water supply at Witteveen+Bos has extensive experience in water management and works closely with authorities in Netherlands on their water management system. His close links to Fiji are through his Fijian wife who has two children.
In congratulating, de Bruijn on his appointment, the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Voreqe Bainimarama, said he was well placed to build on an already solid relationship and explore new levels of political, economic and social cooperation.
“The Fijian Government is pleased that we now have an official presence in Netherlands and we look forward to working with our new Honorary Consul to take the relationship to another level”, Bainimarama said.
In formally accepting this appointment, de Bruijn said he was humbled and eager to work closely with the Fijian government to strengthen ties between Fiji and the Netherlands. He highlighted that new areas of cooperation should be explored to realise this and he looked forward to identifying how the two countries could benefit from new areas of cooperation.
While Fiji and Netherlands have had diplomatic relations since 1972, de Bruijn, is Fiji’s first Honorary Consul there. He will report to Fiji’s Head of Mission to the European Union, Ambassador Deo Saran, who said he was confident that the appointment would give Fiji a much higher profile in Netherlands and the rest of the region.
“The Netherlands is renowned for its expertise on water and delta management and we greatly appreciate that the Government wishes to share its’ knowledge worldwide. Fiji has expressed an interest to seek technical assistance from the Dutch Government to address the current water management challenges which would lead to full utilization of land resources and reduce dependence on imports for food which could be grown locally. Fiji has been adversely affected by regular droughts and floods especially in the agriculture sector and to the sugar industry. In the sugar industry, production fluctuations could be as high 20% due mainly to weather conditions especially effects of droughts and floods. This results in significant implications in the country’s foreign earnings”, said Ambassador Saran.
Ambassador Saran also expressed his appreciation to the Fijian diaspora for participating at the event. Fijians who live in the Netherlands, Austria, the United Kingdom and Belgium attended the event and congratulated de Bruijn on his appointment.