Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Ambassador André Haspels today presented his credentials to President Trump at the White House, marking the official start of his term as the ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States.

During his four years in the United States, Ambassador Haspels said he would like to continue collaborating with the US in the areas in which the two nations have much in common, including agriculture, water management, energy, sustainability, peace and security, urban planning, smart cities, and more.

The key for Ambassador Haspels is innovation, smart solutions, and sustainability.

“I’m looking forward to strengthening the relations between our two countries, relations that exist already for more than 400 years,” Ambassador Haspels said.

The long-lasting partnership between the United States and the Netherlands has created jobs, sound investments, and promising opportunities for the people of both nations. For example, the economic ties between the United States and the Netherlands support 825,000 American jobs.

Ambassador Haspels grew up in the town of Uithoorn in the province of Noord-Holland. His father was a flower trader who imported flowers from all over the word, including ferns from Florida. Since he was a young boy, Haspels has always seen flowers, and that’s how he learned about agriculture and trade.

He studied politics at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. In 1987, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he served in many capacities. In 1997, he became head of the Political Department at the embassy in South Africa (Pretoria), where he was involved in the cooperation between the two nations, among others in the setup of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

He later served as ambassador in South Africa and Vietnam and most recently as director general of political affairs in the Hague.