Netherlands Ambassador to Mexico Coenraad Hendrik Adolph Hogewoning and his wife Anne-Mart Hogewoning marked their country’s third King’s Day (Koningsdag) Wednesday with a gala diplomatic reception at the Ex Convento de San Hipólito in Mexico City’s Centro Histórico.
Over 500 guests attended the event, which honored the European nation’s monarch, King Willem-Alexander’s 50th birthday.
The first male monarch in the country since 1890, Willem-Alexander took the throne in April 2013, following his mother’s abdication after a 33-year-reign.
Hogewoning, who will be leaving Mexico for New York at the end of July to assume the post of Holland’s consul general there, began his national day speech by pointing out that the Netherlands is a country that has historically strived to maintain and increase its landmass against the forces of the oceans.
“This has only been possible thanks to the incredible unity of our people,” he said.
“We are a people who, by our very nature, know how to work together, and that is what the Netherlands offers to Mexico.”
Hogewoning also said that sustainable development is a key priority for his government and people, and consequently, Mexico and the Netherlands have worked jointly on environmental issues linked to energy, resilience, mobile technology, urban planning, integral water distribution, infrastructure, agriculture and logistics.
He also noted that President Enrique Peña Nieto is slated to visit the Netherlands in late May at the invitation of King Willem-Alexander and that the topic of sustainability will play an important role in the bilateral dialogue.
Hogewoning likewise said that as the current president of the European Union Council, the Netherlands is working hard to reach an agreement to update the global bilateral accord between Mexico and the EU.
“That is an important treaty that will have increased bilateral economic and political cooperation even further,” he said.
Currently, two-way trade between the countries amounts to about $5 billion annually, and the Netherlands is the number one point of entry for Mexican goods into the European Union.
With more than $52 billion in accumulated direct investment in Mexico since 1994, the Netherlands is also the third-largest investor nation here.
Hogewoning said that his country is working with Mexico to foster cultural and creative interchange and in projects aimed at protecting women from violence.
Traditionally, Netherlanders had celebrated Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag), as their national day, in honor of a long history of female monarchs.
The first Koninginnedag was held on Aug. 31, 1885, in honor of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina.
Since that time, the holiday date has shifted with the birthday of the then-reigning queen.
This year constituted the third time that a Dutch king was celebrated as the Netherlands national day.