Consul General Gerbert Kunst (left) installs DJ van Hameren as the honorary consul in Oregon.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands has appointed Mr. Dirk-Jan (DJ) van Hameren as the honorary consul in Oregon. He will represent the Netherlands and connect Dutch and American businesses from his home base in Portland.

Gerbert Kunst, Consul General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, installed Mr. Van Hameren in a ceremony on June 10. He succeeds Mr. Hans van Alebeek, who moved back to the Netherlands.

Dutch honorary consuls represent the Netherlands in states that do not have an embassy or consulate general. Mr. Van Hameren will help strengthen the economic ties between the Netherlands and Oregon by helping Dutch and American businesses connect. He will also provide consular support for Dutch nationals in need.

Oregon and the Netherlands share their focus on business, entrepreneurship, and sustainability, and our government is delighted to continue our honorary consulate here,” said Consul General Gerbert Kunst. “In recent years, Oregon and the Netherlands have expanded their cooperation in business, climate change, and innovation. I’m impressed by Mr. Van Hameren’s professional and community network. I look forward to working with him as we build more bridges between the Pacific Northwest and the Netherlands.”

Mr. Van Hameren is vice president and chief marketing officer at Nike, the company he has been working for since 1992. He has lived in Portland since 2001, with his wife Jopie, their daughters Eva and Coco, and their son Floor.

“I’m honored to represent the Dutch government here in Oregon, and connect the Netherlands, where I was born, and Oregon, the place I call my home,” he said. “I am looking forward to creating opportunities and synergies for businesses in the Netherlands and Oregon, a state that is very similar to the Netherlands, with a focus on agriculture, sustainability, and technology. I invite all businesses to contact me to see how we can work together.”

Top 10 trading partner

The Netherlands, a country of 17 million people, is a top trading partner with Oregon. The state exports $360 million in goods to the Netherlands, which helps support more than 5,000 jobs in the state. More than 95,000 Oregonians are of Dutch descent.

The United States and the Netherlands share 400 years of history. The Netherlands was the first country to give the United States a loan. Today, the US exports $60 billion in goods to the Netherlands, and their economic ties support 825,000 American jobs. The Netherlands, inventor of WiFi and Bluetooth, is the second most innovative country in the world. Because of efficient production methods, it is the second largest exporter of agricultural goods, right behind the United States.

For more information, please call press officer Sietze Vermeulen at 415-866-5572.