Koosje de Vries (deputy consul general) and Ard van der Vorst (consul general and head of economic affairs).
Today marks a new phase in the longstanding relationship between the United States and the Netherlands with the opening in Atlanta, Georgia, of the Netherlands’ fifth consulate general in America.
Ard van der Vorst will serve as the first Consul General in Atlanta and will focus on strengthening the economic ties between the Netherlands and five states in the southeast: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
A seasoned diplomat, Mr. Van der Vorst was stationed in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. This will be his second official posting in the US after working in San Francisco.
He said he sees key opportunities for economic collaboration and development between these states and the Netherlands.
“The Netherlands is a key global trading partner, in part because of how we organize our infrastructure,” Mr. Van der Vorst said. “I see tremendous opportunities for collaboration. For example, both Atlanta and Amsterdam are aviation hubs, so both cities attract major corporate headquarters. Both the Netherlands and the Southeast US are dynamic gateways to huge markets.”
Our strong economic relationship
Atlanta-based companies like Coca-Cola Enterprises and UPS have offices in the Netherlands. Dutch businesses like KLM and VanderLande Industries thrive in the Atlanta area.
Through the centuries, the Netherlands and US economic partnership has created jobs, sound investments, and promising opportunities. The Netherlands is a fixture in the top five of the largest foreign investors in the United States, and maintains its place as the No. 1 destination for American investments.
The US has a $30 billion trade surplus with the Netherlands, as it exports $59.3 billion to the Netherlands and imports $29 billion from the Netherlands. Top US exporters to the Netherlands include Texas, California, Louisiana, Illinois, and Washington.
Trade and investments between the Netherlands and the five states that fall under the Atlanta Consulate support an estimated 80,000 American jobs. Exports to the Netherlands are $3.7 billion.
An opening years in the making
The opening of the consulate was years in the making, spurred on by the 2014 visit of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to Atlanta to promote the strong economic relationship between the Netherlands and the Southeastern US.
The Prime Minister announced the opening of the new post during a visit to President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. on July 2.
The new consulate will not provide consular services. Passport applications will continue to go through the Consulate General in Miami.
The consulate will temporarily be located at 1175 Peachtree Street NE, 100 Colony Square, Suite 1208, Atlanta, GA 30361. The email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Atlanta consulate joins Dutch consulates in Chicago, New York, Miami, and San Francisco, as well as an embassy in Washington, D.C.