Ambassadors back in Netherlands for annual gathering

From 30 January to 2 February, the Netherlands’ ambassadors, consuls-general and permanent representatives to international organisations will be back in the country for the annual Ambassadors Conference. They will use this time to strengthen their ties with the Netherlands’ political and business leaders, knowledge institutions and civil society organisations.


On Monday 30 January these senior diplomats will speak with Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen. On Tuesday the ambassadors will exchange views with one another and with experts on issues including migration, trade policy, the transatlantic relationship and the Dutch StartupDelta. On Wednesday Kim Putters of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research will talk with the participants about the state of Dutch society. Discussions are also planned with members of both Houses of Parliament and with members of the cabinet who head various line ministries.

Embassy Prizes

Thursday’s discussions will focus largely on economic diplomacy. The ambassadors will be guests at the Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam, where Hans de Boer of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and others will brief them on the state of the Dutch economy. On the same occasion the Embassy Prizes of the Dutch Export Association Fenedex will be presented to the two diplomatic missions that in the eyes of Dutch exporters have done the most over the past two years to boost Dutch exports. One prize will be awarded to the best large diplomatic mission and one to the best small mission. After the awards ceremony the ambassadors will have ‘speed dates’ with hundreds of entrepreneurs that export Dutch products abroad or are seeking to do so and would like support from the embassies. This support could take the form of information about the country concerned, access to networks and financing and the promotion of Dutch business.


Diplomats are informed in their work by the knowledge that global developments have an impact on daily life in the Netherlands and call for a forceful foreign policy. These developments include instability on Europe’s borders, emergencies affecting Dutch nationals, and the evolving trade and investment links on which the Dutch economy depends. Our diplomats’ role is always to defend Dutch interests worldwide.

The Netherlands has 108 ambassadors, 24 consuls-general and 7 permanent representatives to international organisations like the EU, the UN and NATO. For more information (in Dutch), including all the participants’ profiles, go to