Newly appointed Honorary Consul in Jacksonville, Florida
Consul General Simone Filippini will be visiting Jacksonville on the 20th & the 21st of February, 2013. On April 20 she will host a cocktail reception to bid farewell to the Netherlands Honorary Consul Jeffrey R. Landa who has served since 1998. She will welcome newly appointed Honorary Consul for the Jacksonville area, Mr. Michael Breen.
Mr. Breen has extensive international experience and a long past in international business development. He momentarily serves as the Senior Director of the International Department in the JAXUSAPartnership Division of the JAX Regional Chamber. He maintains a special relationship with The Netherlands where he worked and lived for a number of years with his family, and even managed to learn the language (Dutch). The Netherlands are proud to have Mr. Breen serving as their Honorary Consul for the Jacksonville region.
The Netherlands and the Jacksonville region have been and continue to be closely connected, and their economic ties have been growing over the past 8 years. Dutch entrepreneurs have a clear presence in the area and there are significant trade flows between The Netherlands and the region. The harbour of Jacksonville is a trade partner of the Port of Rotterdam, the largest by far non-Asian Port in the world. Jacksonville is the home to a number of Dutch related companies including Unilever, W&O (Pon)), Enfm USA, Randstad, Univar USA, Radio Netherlands, and CEVA Logistics, former parent of TNT Logistics. Another Dutch company is currently in the process of establishing its US headquarters in Jacksonville. The Netherlands is fully confident during the coming years to be able with our new Honorary Consul’s active support to further boost trade and investments between the Jacksonville area and The Netherlands.
The Netherlands, the #5 exporter and #7 importer in the world rankings (International Trade Statistics 2012, WTO) is a very well organized logistic hub and considered the Gateway to Europe. The development of Jacksonville’s port and logistics industries has become a mirror of Rotterdam’s role as Europe’s Gateway Port. Jacksonville is fast becoming known as the Gateway to America’s southeast, and as such forms a natural partner for The Netherlands Jacksonville port projects also offers potential for Dutch companies to provide services in water management, dredging consulting, and engineering. Florida offers numerous opportunities for Dutch businesses. The State was named 2nd best State for Business by ChiefExecutive.net. Bloomberg Businessweek’s Cities ranked Jacksonville as #4 in the US looking at growth in Tech Jobs while AngelouEconomics listed Jacksonville in its 2012 Industry Hotspots for aerospace & aviation and business support services. Logistics Today has consistently named Jacksonville a ‘Top Five Star Logistics Metro’ area and one of the nation’s ‘Top 10 Logistics-Friendly Cities’.
The Netherlands, geographically positioned in North West Europe and with a surface of approximately one fifth of Florida, is the 3rd largest investor in the United States, supporting 700.000 American jobs. The country is the 6th foreign investor in Florida; 14,400 Jobs are supported by investments of Dutch companies in the State and 9,484 jobs due to FL's exports to The Netherlands. Over 150 Dutch companies are active in South Florida. The Sunshine State exports over $950 million in goods to The Netherlands, a country that is widely considered to be the Gateway to Europe, featuring Europe’s largest port in Rotterdam and home to Schiphol Airport Amsterdam, the 4th busiest European Airport and awarded by passengers ‘best Airport of Europe’. Florida's total merchandise trade with The Netherlands in 2011 was $2,023 million.
Also The Netherlands and the United States share a special military, economic and cultural alliance that is building a more stable, safe world. Our alliance dates more than 200 years to founding of the United States of America. On November 16, 1776, a small American warship, the ANDREW DORIA, sailed into the harbour of the tiny Dutch island of St. Eustatius in the West Indies. Then the governor of the island, Johannes de Graaf, ordered that his fort's cannons be fired in a friendly salute. The first ever given by a foreign power to the flag of the United States, it was a risky and courageous act.
Since then, we have worked closely together both bilaterally and through multilateral organizations to advance peace and security around the world, fighting side by side in numerous wars and serving together in peacekeeping missions in the world’s most challenging regions. As an ally, the Royal Netherlands Navy works closely with JIATF-South, in Key West and in Jacksonville, to fight the war on drugs in the Caribbean waters.