In 2016 the Netherlands and the Philippines celebrate 65 years of diplomatic relations and 150 years of consular relations. During this Anniversary year the Embassy will organize multiple events on the theme innovation for sustainability.
The relations between The Philipines and the Netherlands are ever developing and growing. Simplest indication is growth of trade: over the last 5 years we saw a steady growth of import and export of 10 % annually. But not only trade is growing, also investments. More and more Dutch companies are interested in starting in The Philippines and again: also the other way around.
We want to use this year of celebration to further strengthen our networks, to invest in our common future. We have chosen to do that around the central theme: innovation for sustainability
We think that innovation is where the potential lies for the strengthening of our common future. Both Philipino’s and Dutch are creative people. Actually innovation is what keeps the Netherlands amongst the largest economies in the world. And the craftmanship and creativity of Philipino’s is what fuels the development of this country. Together we can get so far.
Then the sustainability side. As well The Philippines as The Netherlands realize the limits of the globe. Both our governments have taken the lead in different international processes to address this issue. We need to review our production processes, our business models. The use of materials, soil, the way we work as governments, private sector, civil society and the way we can become more effective by working together. More effective to get a profitable economy which is inclusive with respect for the planet.
In 2016 there will be many events organized by the Embassy. The program is compiled of a series of lectures, a film festival, an exchange of fashion professionals and a large event around a trade mission in October.
We start on a philosophical note. In March Lucas de Man will tour the Philippines with his theater production “In Search of Europe”. De Man interviewed 23 thinkers in 8 countries relecting on where we stand with the world. And on what we should do. He compares our time with the transitional period in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. And he wonders: Do we live in a similar pivotal period?
After this reflection on where we stand we will have a series of lectures. The lectures take place at different campusses of the UP for students and at a place where professionals can meet, mostly at the residence of the Netherlands. These lectures are meant as inspiration on how we can bring our cooperation to a next level. Themes are: food security, resilience against climate change/ water management, peace and community building, sustainable cities, human trafficking and sustainable fashion.
The only new theme in our cooperation mentioned here, is fashion – fashion as a metaphore for the creative industry which we think is a promissing sector for bilateral cooperation.
A film festival featuring Philipino and Dutch films will tour the country. In this we partner with the Film Development Council of the Philippines. Only few people know that throughout decennia there has been extensive cooperation between Dutch and Philipino cineasts. This lustrum is a nice occasion to memorize this.
In October all this culminates in one big event. We expect a trade mission to come. During their visit we will to have a smashing evening with as highlight a fashion show. In this fashion show 6 young designers who have been on an exchange program between our countries will show their collection of Dutch/Filipino design.
This show stands for what fusion of The Netherlands and The Philipines can bring. At the same time all themes that have been discussed throughout the year will be featured that evening. So somehow there is place for all of you.
What we share as Dutch and Philipino’s is our creativity, but also our flexibility. We are open to new approaches, open for change. We easily adjust to new situations. That’s why you find both Philipino’s and Dutch in every corner of the globe.
We will appeal on these characteristics in you in the period to come.
Maraming salamat po.