Speech by Mayor Jan van Zanen at a meeting with the Taipei Representative Office in the Netherlands, 4 October 2022
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few words to you.
Something which, of course, I am happy to do.
Here at this meeting organised by the Taipei Representative Office in the Netherlands.
Surrounded by many friends and familiar faces.
It is on occasions such as this that I again realise just how very international The Hague is.
The presence of so many different cultures makes The Hague what it is:
A city where the world is at home.
The international city of peace and justice, as we are permitted to call ourselves, due to the presence of the many legal institutions, UN bodies and NGOs.
That we are an international city is largely because of you:
All the women, men and children who have come from all over the world to The Hague.
And who have made their home here for a shorter or longer period of time.
It is the international community which lends The Hague its special character.
The Taiwanese community has for a long time been part of that.
Various Taiwanese companies are based in The Hague, such as Nankang, which trades in automobile parts, TCI Biotech Netherlands, agritech start-up Hugreen, and Lanner, which focuses on industrial IT.
Taiwan is renown for its IT industry.
The Hague region has become a centre for cyber security.
This makes The Hague all the more attractive for foreign IT businesses.
Myself, I have had the pleasure of visiting Taiwan three times.
In 2010, 2013 and in 2017.
The last time was during the Eco Mobility World Festival in Kaohsiung.
A topic which is as high as ever on the agenda, also in The Hague.
With the growth of cities worldwide, the issue of sustainable mobility remains one of the great challenges of our time.
Right from my first visit I was impressed by the hospitality I enjoyed in Taiwan.
And every time I was amazed by what Taiwan has managed to achieve, both economically and culturally.
I sincerely hope that in the future too we can exchange knowledge and experience.
Because knowledge and experience enable us to tackle the challenges facing humanity.
I hope that we can also further build on our cooperation in the economic and cultural fields.
In peace and prosperity.
Because we have so much to offer each other.
And in that spirit I wish you and yours all the very best.