Prime Minister Rutte visits Malaysia and Australia

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has finished a three-day working visit to Malaysia and Australia. On Wednesday he met President Najib Razak of Malaysia before travelling on to Australia for talks with Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The MH17 air disaster over Ukraine on 17 July formed the main reason for the visit. Mr Rutte also discussed international political developments with his counterparts, as well as bilateral relations. During the trip the prime minister will take the opportunity to meet with Dutch entrepreneurs active in each region.

Wednesday: Prime Minister Rutte arrives in Malaysia

Mr Rutte thanked Prime Minister Najib for Malaysia’s cooperation in the aftermath of the MH17 disaster. ‘It is now vital that we continue to work together closely and ensure that MH17 remains high on the international agenda,’ said Mr Rutte.

Mr Rutte also met with a number of Dutch entrepreneurs active in Malaysia. The Netherlands and Malaysia have close, long-established trade ties, and Mr Rutte noted that Dutch knowledge and experience in domains like water management means there are lots of opportunities in the country. ‘We spoke primarily about the opportunities Dutch entrepreneurs see here in Malaysia and about what the Dutch government can do to make it easier to start a business,’ said Mr Rutte.

Thursday: Prime Minister Rutte visits Australia

During the course of his first day in Australia, Mr Rutte thanked Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for his country's cooperation in the aftermath of the MH17 air disaster. 'We will continue to work together closely to achieve our shared goals of repatriating any remains and personal belongings still in Ukraine, investigating the circumstances surrounding the disaster and conducting a criminal investigation,' said Mr Rutte.

During the visit, the leaders also discussed relations between the Netherlands and Australia. ‘I have met with Dutch entrepreneurs in Australia and members of the Australian government, and I am keen to broaden and deepen the political, economic and cultural relationship between our two countries,’ stated Mr Rutte.