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Committee: WTO

Country: the Netherlands

Delegate: Caterina Pozzi, Maastricht University

Topic: Identifying and enforcing the obligations of former colonial empires towards former colonies

The Netherlands has been a WTO member since 1995 and a member of GATT since 1948. The term Dutch colonial Empire refers to the oversea territories administered by the Dutch chartered companies (Dutch West India and Dutch East India company), with the aim of trade-based relations and commercial exchange, rather than an expansion of the Dutch territories. However, in the 18th century the Netherlands started to lose its colonies in favour of the British empire.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs stresses the importance of prosperity. Being the Netherlands a trading nation, it encourages exports and investments by maintaining close relationships with many countries. The Dutch government guarantees access to raw materials and knowledge. The Netherlands invests widely to achieve a level playing field and a sustainable and fair trade.

As many Dutch companies have roots in the colonial past, it is not surprising that Dutch business history has been engaged extensively with the colonial legacy in the last decades. It is characterised by a multi-directional relationships and commodity chains. Furthermore, the rise of global economy opens-up new markets in East-Asia and explains the increasing import and export of Indonesia.

The Netherlands believes that these ties should benefit both the Western...