WE met recently with Dutch Ambassador to Ireland, Adriaan Palm, at a diplomatic event in Dublin.
He was very happy to see the new BG Freight shipping service from Waterford Belview port to main Dutch port of Rotterdam.In conversation, he expressed the need to expand more freight services from Ireland to Holland.
Dublin services have expanded to Holland as trade with Ireland grows and exporters seek new options in advance of Brexit and avoiding the UK land-bridge that trucks and freight traffic use going to Europe.
He also believes that the use of Dutch ports could see exporters and importers save money, as it can reduce the margin of the middle man or wholesaler in UK.
More direct trade via Holland than UK can save Irish business and consumers money.
Extra routes will add to competition.His excellency Mr. Palm is in Ireland for just 4 months but has been very busy in this period and assisted in organising the visit of the Dutch Prime Minister, Mr. Rutte to Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar,Ireland and Holland need to get closer together and work more in the Brexit process and assist one another.He sees Brexit and a potential hard border as a breach of the 1998, Good Friday Agreement, which is an International Agreement and they very much support the Irish position.
There are over 7000 Dutch citizens registered in Ireland as residents, but more would be here for shorter periods for education or short term reasons.