Ambassador Henne Schuwer, Lt. Gov. Mike Stack and Consul General Dolph Hogewoning present the proclamation of cooperation between Pennsylvania and the Netherlands.

Ambassador Henne Schuwer today led a delegation from the Embassy of the Netherlands to Pennsylvania for discussions about optimizing the relationship between the Keystone State and the Dutch people to advance their longstanding cultural and economic partnership. The delegation also brought a historic map and a copy of the Dutch colonial council minutes of 15 May 1642, detailing the Dutch trade in the area that is now Pennsylvania. Both documents were provided by the New York State Archives.

“The bonds that join the Netherlands and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are longstanding and robust. Our shared heritage began in the 17th century when a Dutch ship sailed the Delaware River Valley and grew stronger in 1614 with the founding of New Netherland, which included areas along the Delaware River and present-day Philadelphia,” Ambassador Schuwer said. “Today, these bonds can be seen in the faces of the 250,000 Pennsylvanians of Dutch descent, the $1.6 billion worth of exports sent to the Netherlands, and the more than 60,000 jobs that are supported by Dutch investment in the Keystone State.”

As a top 10 destination of Pennsylvanian exports, the Netherlands remains a strong partner of the Keystone State.

“Nurturing our relationships with nations that share our values, principles and embrace of diversity is not only critical to our standing in the world but also to our economic prosperity,” said Lt. Gov. Mike Stack. “With the appointment of two new honorary consuls in Pennsylvania, the Netherlands has shown its commitment to cooperation and shared prosperity.”

Ambassador Schuwer and his delegation held an economic roundtable with officials of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development and Department of State.

“The Netherlands is a very important economic partner,” said Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres.  “I am pleased that a delegation has come to engage in discussions about how to build upon and strengthen the existing relationship between Pennsylvania and the Netherlands.”

Last year, the Dutch government appointed two new honorary consuls for Pennsylvania, Wilfred Henricus Muskens in Philadelphia and Thomas R. Johnson in Pittsburgh.

Stack hosted a reception for the delegation in his capitol office, followed by a news conference on the balcony, featuring a proclamation of cooperation between the Keystone State and people of the Netherlands.

The event comes against the backdrop of the Dutch Celebration of King’s Day, traditionally marked on April 27.  Stack presented the ambassador with a proclamation marking today as “King’s Day in Pennsylvania.”  Tonight, the state capitol lights will be orange to mark the day.