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Community Consultation on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Foreign Trade and Development Policy


Foreign Trade and Development Policy

The Netherlands benefits from a stable, safe and sustainable world around it. That's why an active foreign policy is of national importance. Foreign trade and investment are good for the welfare of The Netherlands. Developments on the international stage affect Dutch society at home. Through development cooperation and aid The Netherlands aims to reduce extreme poverty and contribute to a safer and more sustainable world. Formulating The Netherlands' new international trade and development cooperation policy will help to play into global trends that affect both The Netherlands and the world as a whole.

With this in mind, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened a public consultation on its new policy. The Ministry is particularly interested in consulting with stakeholders in the field, including (but not limited to):

  • International NGOs working in development;
  • Multinational companies and conglomerates;
  • Think tanks, academics and researchers;
  • Civil society organizations, and;
  • Cities and regions with international ambitions.

Policy Priorities

As stipulated in the coalition agreement of the current government, the new foreign trade and development policy will, among others, focus on addressing the root causes of poverty, migration, terrorism and climate change. The Netherlands aims to contribute more substantially to international climate action, sustainable supply chains and inclusive economic development. Additionally, the cabinet aims to invest in market access for Dutch companies and strategic positioning on existent and growing markets.

The new strategy plays into a number of global trends:

  • The impact of rapid technological development and digitalization of trade and investment streams, The Netherlands' international earning potential and economic opportunities for various developing countries;
  • Shifting patterns of global economic growth and the Dutch position in those trends;
  • Changes in poverty, welfare, and demographics in developing countries, including changes relating to (irregular) migration;
  • Conflicts and increasing instability in various regions and the link to refugee and migrant flows;
  • Climate change and the movement towards sustainable grow, in relation to trade policy and opportunities for the Dutch private sector.

Submitting Comments

Find the new policy document in English below. There are also a number of specific open questions on the policy that can be found below.

Submit written answers and comments using this link.


The new Dutch foreign trade and development policy can be found (in English) here.

The specific questions on the policy can be found (in English) here.

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