Fiji has appointed a new Honorary Consul to the Kingdom of Netherlands to strengthen ties and develop new avenues of cooperation.
Frederik de Bruijn was commissioned at a ceremony held in The Hague on July 2, 2018 in the presence of government officials, diplomats, and the Fijian diaspora in Europe.
Mr de Bruijn, who works 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 and their two children.
Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, who holds the Foreign Affairs portfolio, said that Mr de Bruijn is well placed to build on the existing 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”, he said.
Mr de Bruijn said that he was humbled and eager to work closely with the Fijian government to strengthen ties between Fiji and the Netherlands.
While Fiji and Netherlands have had diplomatic relations since 1972, Mr 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.
Water Management expertise
“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 utilisation of land resources and reduce dependence on imports for food which could be grown locally,” Mr Saran said.
“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,” he added.
Fiji’s EU Ambassador Deo Saran receiving Frederik de Bruijn
(Fiji TV Picture)