News and Events

27 Jun 2024

Visit of Dutch Ambassador to the Marine Institute as Dutch-Irish Economic Links Flourish

The Dutch Ambassador, Her Excellence Maaike van Koldam, visited the Marine Institute yesterday and hailed the importance of Galway for harnessing Ireland’s potential in areas like renewable energy and the marine sector.

On Wednesday morning, the Ambassador was welcomed to the Marine Institute in Rinville by CEO, Dr. Rick Officer.

Dr. Officer and his team, including Director of the IMDO, Liam Lacey, provided a tour of the facility before discussing key areas where Dutch-Irish partnerships already exist, including offshore renewable energy, links between ports and bilateral trade.

“Galway - just like the Netherlands - will always be associated with the sea, with shipping and with trading links with the rest of the world. As Dutch-Irish trade expands, and as our ports continue to develop their links with one another, coastal cities and counties like Galway are going to play an increasingly crucial role in harnessing the vast potential which Ireland possesses in terms of offshore renewable energy,” Ambassador van Koldam said.

Dutch-Irish economic links have developed significantly in recent years, after the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU left both countries without one of their key economic partners in the Union.

According to the CSO, the Netherlands was Ireland’s fifth largest export partner for goods in 2022.

In all, €14 billion worth of Irish goods were sold to the Netherlands in that year, with €5 billion worth of Dutch goods heading the opposite direction.

In the area of services, Dutch-Irish links are even more crucial, with the Netherlands being Ireland’s fourth largest trading partner, behind only the US, the UK and Germany.

Dutch expertise when it comes to offshore wind power presents further opportunities for collaboration in the coming years, and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have already been signed between the Shannon Foynes Port and the Port of Rotterdam as well as between the Port of Cork and the Port of Amsterdam.

Commenting on the visit of the Dutch Ambassador, Dr. Rick Officer, CEO of the Marine Institute, recognised the potential that exists in developing closer ties with the Netherlands. 

"Ireland's importers and exporters use Dutch ports as gateways to the Single Market and Third Countries. Ireland and the Netherlands share common interests in areas of marine research and environmental protection and are working together on the development of the emerging Offshore Renewable Energy industry.

“It makes sense to strengthen these ties and to build on the excellent relationship we enjoy with the Netherlands in business, research and environmental protection,” he said.