Netherlands–Pakistan relations

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Netherlands–Pakistan relations



The Netherlands–Pakistan relations (cultural phrase: Dutch-Pakistan relations), refers to the bilateral, international, cultural and historical relations between the Netherlands and Pakistan.[1] The Netherlands maintains a permanent embassy in Islamabad and honorary consulates in Karachi and Lahore.[2] Pakistan has an embassy in The Hague.[3]

Diplomatic history[edit]

Pakistan and the Netherlands established bilateral relations soon after the independence of Pakistan. The Dutch Embassy opened in Karachi in 1955 and shifted to Islamabad ten years later. Pakistan soon became a partnercountry for the Netherlands, receiving substantial Development Cooperation funds from the 1960s onwards, in particular in the area's of water management/environment, education and governance. In 2011, the Dutch Government decided to terminate the structural development projects and to shift the focus on trade relations. Since 2004, the Netherlands were host to more than 100 junior diplomats of Pakistan who were educated and gained degrees from the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.[4]

Diplomatic Representations[edit]

The Netherlands maintains an Embassy in Islamabad and two honorary consulates in the cities of Karachi and Lahore. Her Excellency Jeanette Seppen is the current ambassador of Netherlands to Pakistan.[5] Pakistan, on the other hand, operates an embassy in the Hague. Her Excellency Iffat Imran Gerdezi is the ambassador of Pakistan to the Netherlands.[6]

Trade and economic relations[edit]

Economic relations date back to the seventeenth century, when the Dutch East India Company established a small trading post in Thatta, Sind. In March, 1652, Pieter de Bie sailed with his ship to Sind and set up a trading post (factorij) in competition with the Portuguese and British. This trading post however lasted only eight years, as it was not a commercial success. Several trading missions followed, among which a well documented one in 1757, led by merchants Wolphert Abraham Brahe and Nicolaas Mahue.[9] After this a long period of decline in economic relations set in. Just before World War II, the Royal Dutch Airlines KLM started to operate a hotel in Karachi, called Midway hotel, as this city was halfway between Amsterdam and Jakarta/Indonesia (the former Dutch colony). The hotel still exists as the Ramada Plaza Karachi Airport Hotel. In 1948, Philips set up operations in Karachi, which subsequently developed into a manufacturing unit. Around the same time Unilever opened a company representative branch in Pakistan (Unilever Pakistan) followed by Royal Shell Pakistan.[1] In 1982, Pakistan and the Netherlands signed a bilateral Double Taxation Agreement, to promote business activities in both countries.[10] Pakistan is the 6th largest non-European economic partner and 13th largest economic partner trading partner of the Netherlands in the world.[11][12][13]


  1. ^ a b Government of Kingdom of the Netherlands. "Unilever Pakistan". The Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands (historical). Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Staff. "The Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands". Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Embassy of Pakistan". 
  4. ^ HE to the Dutch Government. "Pakistan, mirrored to Dutch Eyes" (PDF). Government of Pakistna. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "The Ambassador". The Embassy of Netherlands. 
  6. ^ "The Ambassador". 
  7. ^ "Consulate of the Netherlands in Karachi, Pakistan". Embassy pages (Holland). 
  8. ^ "Consulate of the Netherlands in Lahore, Pakistan". 
  9. ^ The Dutch Est India Company (VOC) and Diewel-Sind (Pakistan) in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Willem Floor, Institute of Central & West Asian Studies, University of Karachi/Lok Virsa, Islamabad, 1993-4.
  10. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "THE NETHERLANDS - PAKISTAN". The document is the property of the Governments of Pakistan and the Netherlands. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  11. ^ APP (August 9, 2012). "PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf directs Pakistan Ambassador-designate to encourage Dutch investment in Pakistan". Lahore Times. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  12. ^ "Netherlands: Pakistan's trade partners.". Highbeam. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  13. ^ Editorial (April 1990). "Netherlands: Pakistan's Trade Partners". Magazine article from Economic Review, Vol. 21, No. 4. Retrieved 8 September 2012.