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Netherlands - Russia year 2013

2013 is Netherlands-Russia Year. Events organised during the course of this so-called ‘bilateral year’ will highlight the longstanding relationship not only between the Netherlands and Russia, but also between the Northern Netherlands and Russia. The Russian Federation has long been familiar with the concept of a ‘bilateral year’. The purpose of such a year is to strengthen and develop relations between the countries involved by organising joint events in both countries.

During President Medvedev’s visit to the Netherlands on 20 June 2009, he and the then Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, agreed to make 2013 Netherlands-Russia Year. The year 2013 was chosen because it is the 400th anniversary of the establishment of official relations between Russia and the Netherlands.


National: Netherlands - Russia

The official launch of the bilateral year is expected to be held in the Netherlands in March/April and will immediatly be followed by the Russian programme in the Netherlands, which will last until August. in May 2013 the emphasis will shift to Russia, where the Netherlands will then organise a programme of activities. The bilateral year will be brought to a celebratory close in Moscow in the first half of November 2013. The programme, referred to in the Netherlands as 'NLRF2013', is structured around three key themes: Economy, Culture, and Politics and Civil Society. More information about the national programme can be found at the NLRF2013 website.


Regional: Northern Netherlands-Russia

The Northern Netherlands also has a special relationship with Russia. The Northern region plays an important pioneering role in relations with the Russian Federation in the areas of energy and science. The relationship that gas companies in the Northern Netherlands have with Russia and the cooperation agreement between the Northern Netherlands and Leningrad Oblast (the province surrounding Saint Petersburg) are obvious examples.

Yet cities in the Northern Netherlands that were members of the Hanseatic League also actively pursued trade with Russia back in the Middle Ages. Tsar Peter the Great’s visit to the Netherlands in 1697 served as a powerful catalyst in accelerating exchange of knowledge and trade with Russia. The strong ties forged in the past endure to this day. The unique historic links and existing contacts between the Northern Netherlands and Russia form the basis for a range of activities in the Northern region during this bilateral year of friendship.


- SNN and the Chamber of Commerce for the Northern Netherlands are working together to organise a programme of economic activities for the Northern Netherlands. A programme brimming with opportunities for businesses in the Northern Netherlands seeking to strengthen, deepen or simply establish relations and cooperation with Russia. The programme will include three key events: a Leningrad Oblast week in the Northern Netherlands (March), Northern Netherlands representation at the AgroRus trade fair in Saint Petersburg (August) and a Northern Netherlands week in Leningrad Oblast (October). More detailed information about the programme can be found under the heading Economic activities of interest to the Northern Netherlands.

- The programme of activities offered as part of the Netherlands-Russia bilateral year in the Northern Netherlands will be organised by Stichting Noord-Nederland Rusland 2013 (NNR 2013), a foundation set up by the municipality of Groningen, GasTerra (a natural gas trading company), Gasunie (a natural gas infrastructure and transportation company), the province of Groningen and the University of Groningen. The programme will focus on activities in the areas of economic partnership, science, culture and sport. An overview of the Festival and Business programmes in the Northern Netherlands can be found at www.nnr2013.nl.

- The long-term cooperation agreement between the Northern Netherlands and Leningrad Oblast will be the focal theme of special weeks organised in both regions in 2013: a Leningrad Oblast week in the Northern Netherlands in March and a Northern Netherlands week in Leningrad Oblast in October.


Economic activities of interest to the Northern Netherlands

Both countries will organise and host official visits, economic missions and various cultural and social activities. Entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions, universities of applied sciences and cluster organisations in the Northern Netherlands will be presented with all kinds of opportunities to strengthen and deepen relations and cooperation with Russia.


Specific economic activities

The activities scheduled thus far are listed below. The programme will be updated on a regular basis. More information about the activities can also be found on the website of the Chamber of Commerce for the Northern Netherlands.

4 to 7 March 2013: Leningrad Oblast week in the Northern Netherlands
A Russian delegation from Leningrad Oblast (the province surrounding Saint Petersburg), led by the Governor of Leningrad Oblast, Mr Alexander Drozdenko, will visit the Northern Netherlands from 4 to 7 March. The delegation will consist of representatives of various committees (on agriculture, health care, energy, healthy ageing and tourism), directors of businesses, musicians, journalists and a youth forum. Throughout the week the emphasis will be on economic, cultural and social activities designed to deepen mutual relations.

26 August to 1 September 2013: Northern Netherlands representation at the AgroRus trade fair in Saint Petersburg
AgroRus is an international agricultural trade fair and exhibition held in Saint Petersburg from 26 August to 1 September of each year. The Chamber of Commerce for the Northern Netherlands and SNN are offering businesses in the Northern Netherlands the opportunity to take part in this international trade fair. More information about the trade fair, opportunities for participation, and the Northern Netherlands’ programme at the fair can be found on this page and the website of the Chamber of Commerce for the Northern Netherlands.

17 to 21 June 2013: Incoming agribusiness study tour in the Northern Netherlands
In June, as part of the Business programme, SNN will host a working visit and study tour for an agribusiness delegation.

23 to 28 June 2013: Outgoing all-sector trade mission to Russia
In June the Chamber of Commerce for the Northern Netherlands will organise a trade mission to two cities in Russia. More information about the trade mission can be found on the website of the Chamber of Commerce for the Northern Netherlands.

14 to 18 October: Northern Netherlands Agro Valley project at Golden Autumn 2013
After signing a cooperation agreement in 2009, in October 2011 the three Northern provinces and Leningrad Oblast (the province surrounding Saint Petersburg) embarked on a joint potato production project known as the Agro Valley project. The results of the project will be presented at the Golden Autumn 2013 Russian agricultural exhibition in Moscow. More information about the Northern Netherlands’ representation at the exhibition and/or the Agro Valley project can be found on the SNN website.

28 to 31 October 2013: Northern Netherlands week in Leningrad Oblast
From 28 to 31 October the Northern Netherlands will present itself to Leningrad Oblast during a Northern Netherlands week in and around Saint Petersburg. Again the emphasis will be on economic, cultural and social activities designed to deepen mutual relations.

More information about the exact programme will be published on this page and the website of the Chamber of Commerce for th e Northern Netherlands in due course.