Speech Prime Minister Rutte by the Malaysian Dutch Business Council

Selamat datang! [welkom]
It's a great pleasure to be here in this beautiful part of Kuala Lumpur. Although I greatly value this opportunity to meet you, this is a sad occasion.
Like the Netherlands Malaysia has known an immense tragedy recently. Not only the downing of MH17, but also the disappearance of MH370.
My main purpose in visiting Malaysia is to express my sympathy and my gratitude to the Malaysian authorities for their assistance and cooperation in the aftermath of flight MH17, and to ensure further close and constructive collaboration.

I realise that this recent collaboration in the political and legal field has a solid basis in the many years of strong economic bonds between Malaysia and the Netherlands.
So I consider this meeting with you the business community and members of the MDBC an integral part of my visit.
Your performance contributes to a profile in Malaysia of a country that can be trusted. If the disaster affected you directly or indirectly I would like to offer you my deepest sympathy.
And I would like to express my admiration for your resilience. 

The Dutch Malaysian business community is part of a long history of Dutch enterprise in Malaysia. It is vibrant and successful.
Dutch entrepreneurs have been in this country for 160 years - 8 generations.

Long experience and know-how do not go unnoticed.
MDBC is known as one of the most active and successful councils of its kind in Malaysia.
A quick glance at the members' guide shows that all the Dutch multinationals have a presence here.
So do many SMEs and start-ups.

I spoke to a number of you this morning.
You all have your own interesting stories of continued hard work in a faraway market. Sometimes this brings quick profits.
In other cases you have to take a longer view and wait before harvesting the fruits of your labours.

Last year Dutch business federations and the Federation of Dutch Exporters awarded their coveted Fenedex Prize to the Dutch Embassy here in Kuala Lumpur.
Ambassador Molenaar told me that their work in close cooperation with the MDBC and individual businesses was most likely the main reason why they received the award.

As Malaysia and the surrounding ASEAN countries continue on an economic fast track and become more integrated, new opportunities and challenges will arise.
I hope you will keep the famous Dutch innovative business spirit alive and forge the strongest business ties possible.

This afternoon I look forward to learning more about your experiences.