Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Trinidad and Tobago

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Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Trinidad and Tobago

69-71 Edward Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago

(+1-868) 625-1210 Ambassador's Office:

Ext. 0 217202

September 21, 2015 The world has seen a considerable reduction in extreme poverty since the turn of the century. Yet the gap between rich and poor has widened. Greater inequality prevents people from building a decent life, stunts economic growth and leads to conflict – on top of the violence that has already forced more than 60 million people worldwide to abandon their homes. In her policy agenda for 2016, Foreign Trade and Development Minister Lilianne Ploumen shows an even greater commitment to curbing the downward spiral. ‘Everyone must have equal opportunities,’ says Ms Ploumen. ‘Countries seek economic growth, but they should also make sure growth is equitable. With an approach combining aid, trade and investment, the Netherlands aims for economic growth that benefits everyone – in the Netherlands and elsewhere.’ The effects of increasing inequality are felt most keenly in developing countries. Too few people have benefited from the growth the world has seen in the past 20 years. ‘Countries have become wealthier, but many people haven’t benefited at all. If we are to help another billion people escape from poverty in the next 15 years, we will have to focus much more sharply on this issue.’ Dutch investment over the next few years in reducing extreme poverty and in state-building in fragile countries will also help reduce inequality. By entering into innovative partnerships with Dutch civil society organisations, Ms Ploumen wants to help people in developing countries stand up for their rights, promote women’s rights and devote more attention to the position of young people. She is also committed to tackling the exclusion of marginalised groups, such as disabled people, indigenous communities and gays and lesbians. Around €350 million will be earmarked for promoting inclusive economic growth. Partnerships with the business community play an important part. ‘Businesses possess expertise and networks which we should use. And they can create jobs for people from vulnerable groups,’ the Minister says.

September 21, 2015 On Budget Day King Willem-Alexander travels in the Golden Coach from Noordeinde Palace to the Binnenhof via Lange Voorhout in The Hague. On the third Tuesday in September (Prince's Day), the Minister of Finance presents the National Budget and the Budget Memorandum to the House of Representatives. King Willem-Alexander presides over the state opening of the Senate and the House of Representatives (the States General) on Budget Day. This entails reading the Speech from the Throne in the Hall of Knights. The speech contains the government’s main plans for the coming year. Later that day, the Minister of Finance presents the House of Representatives with an overview of the costs of the plans announced in the Speech from the Throne. He goes to the House of Representatives with the ceremonial briefcase, where he presents the National Budget and the Budget Memorandum. These state how much money the government is making available for its various plans for the coming year, and where it is coming from.