Netherlands asked to build powdered milk plants in China

Powdered milk shortages in the Netherlands was one of the issues discussed in a meeting between foreign trade minister Lilianne Ploumen and Chinese import and export minister Zhi Shuping. ‘Mr Zhi Shuping shares my concerns about the shortages in the Netherlands and has pledged to work hard to find a solution to the problem,’ said Ms Ploumen.

Zhi Shuping explained that the Chinese have less confidence in their country’s own milk products and are prepared to pay more for high-quality powdered milk from the Netherlands. ‘It is of course wonderful to hear that Dutch products are popular in China,’ said Ms Ploumen. ‘It boosts employment in our own country; foreign trade creates Dutch jobs. However, this must not be at the expense of Dutch parents who find empty shelves where the baby milk should be. Powdered milk is in great demand in China and my Chinese colleague has asked the Netherlands to invest in production plants in his country. The Netherlands and China will remain in dialogue on this issue until these are up and running.’

From 5 to 10 May, Ms Ploumen is paying a visit to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, accompanied by representatives of 50 Dutch companies from the fields of renewable energy and the environment, agri-food and agriculture, water management and shipbuilding. Various memorandums of understanding and contracts will be signed during the trade mission. In meetings with the authorities, Ms Ploumen is discussing improving the trade and investment climate and market access between the Netherlands and China. She is also meeting with Chinese ministers, organisations and individuals working on environmental issues, transparency and better working conditions. Powdered milk shortages in the Netherlands has come up during one of these discussions.