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"European country working with kingdom on energy, water and building greenhouses in the desert"

Ties between Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands celebrated

Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands have worked together on green energy, water projects, and even desert greenhouses for cucumbers. The Dutch Janet Alberda said her country was one of the first to open a consulate and a bank in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia is also one of its top 10 export destinations.

"The first Dutch consulate was opened in Jeddah in 1872, so next year we celebrate 150 years of having a diplomatic footprint in the Arabian Peninsula, and that really is quite something," said Ms. Alberda, the Netherlands' ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

In 2019, the Netherlands exported goods worth about $3.89 billion to Saudi Arabia. The Netherlands is working with the kingdom on desalination, as well as the export of fruit and vegetables that are grown in desert greenhouses.

"We come with the expertise of how to get rid of salt in water," said Ms. Alberda. "We also deal a lot with food security and are very big on exporting greenhouses.

"There's a great interest from the kingdom to become food-sufficient so, while in the past we used to export tomatoes and cucumbers to Saudi Arabia, there is now a reverse trend. I have met Saudi entrepreneurs who dealt with the Netherlands when buying greenhouses, but now they want to export what they grow in their greenhouses to the Netherlands."

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