Dutch Royal Couple Conducts Working Visit to Texas, September 8-9

(Washington, D.C.) — On the eve of the working visit by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima to the United States, new figures reveal the economic relationship between the Netherlands and the United States is stronger than ever.

Queen Máxima meets with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and First Lady Cecilia Abbott.

While in the US, the royal couple will visit Austin and Houston on September 8 and 9. During the visit, the King and Queen will meet with elected officials including Governor Greg Abbott, Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and a host of leaders in the technology, defense, water management, energy, and healthcare sectors.

Economic Ties

The Netherlands and the United States enjoy a long-standing and strong partnership that creates jobs, sound investments, and opportunities for both nations. When examining US trading partners on a global scale, the Netherlands is the trading partner with which the United States has the largest trading surplus. 

In 2021, Dutch-US economic ties supported an estimated 955,000 American jobs, (an 11% increase from 2020) and an estimated 106,000 of those jobs were based in Texas (a 24% increase).

Additionally, the Lone Star State is first on the list of the top 10 US states that export the most goods and services to the Netherlands. These statistics undergird the robust trade and mutually beneficial economic relationship between the two nations.

The King and Queen’s visit to the United States highlights the Dutch belief that transatlantic cooperation is essential for safeguarding the security and prosperity of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The United States is the Netherlands’ most important partner within NATO and is also a major partner when it comes to global challenges like climate change, energy transition, mobility, urbanization, and healthcare. The cities of Austin and Houston, innovation hubs where smart solutions to these challenges are being developed, share similar ties with the Netherlands in the fields of mobility, resilience, startups, and technology.

The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher will accompany the King and Queen on the visit. The Aruban Minister of Public Health and Tourism Danguillaume Oduber, the Aruban Minister of Economic Affairs, Communication and Sustainable Development Geoffrey Wever, and the Minister of Economic Affairs of Curacao Ruisandro Cijntje will also participate in the visit.

“The cities of Austin and Houston are concrete examples of the partnerships that exist with the Netherlands in the areas of cycling, energy transition, and water management. Dutch experts have shared their cycling expertise with Austin officials, as well as their flood management experience with Houston officials,’’ stated Dutch Ambassador André Haspels. “This visit by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima is in recognition of these deeply strong ties, in these fields and also in healthcare, startups, and defense.”

Austin

In Austin, the King and Queen will meet Governor Abbot to discuss the close economic ties between the Netherlands and Texas, as well as shared challenges in the fields of health, resilience, and energy transition. The royal couple will also meet with Mayor Adler who will issue a proclamation noting the 10-year anniversary of the city’s commitment to incorporating the core tenets of Dutch bikeway network design. Dutch mobility experts have shared their cycling expertise with representatives from Austin for years. In fact, Mayor Adler visited the Netherlands in 2016 on a “Smart City” innovation exchange that explored how data can improve the quality of life for a city’s residents. The ThinkBike workshop with Dutch experts in 2012 informed Austin’s Bicycle Plan and today Austin is seen as an urban mobility innovator among its peer cities in North America. Also in Austin, the King and Queen will attend an event at Capital Factory where American startups will pitch their innovative ideas to Dutch CEOs.

The royal couple will attend a seminar on the future of healthcare, organized with the Austin Healthcare Council. The Queen will also visit the Hogg Foundation and exchange views with local youth on community initiatives to address mental health issues.

The King will visit Fort Hood, where Dutch pilots have trained for over a quarter of a century. The King’s visit will focus on international security and cooperation between the Dutch and US military. The King will speak with Dutch and American personnel at the base, where Dutch Chinook and Apache helicopters are stationed.

The royal couple will attend an official dinner at Austin FC, involving the local and Dutch business communities, also highlighting the cooperation between Austin FC and Dutch companies such as SGL and KLM.

Houston

In Houston, the King and Queen will be received by Mayor Turner. The royal couple will attend a roundtable discussion on methods to protect the city from flooding.

King Willem-Alexander will continue to focus on water management issues when he attends an event on coastal defense. Subsequently, he will join a roundtable on the use of port infrastructure to promote energy transition. 

Queen Máxima will turn her attention to healthcare and tour the Texas Medical Center’s innovation center. While at the TMC, the Queen will also attend a lunch with Dutch and Texan female role models from the worlds of business and governance. At MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Queen will tour the children’s ward.

Media opportunities

We invite media to register to cover the following events:

September 8

  • Fort Hood: King Willem-Alexander will arrive via military helicopter and meet the Dutch personnel from the Royal Netherlands Air Force and Royal Netherlands Army stationed at Fort Hood. The King will thank American Lieutenant General Robert White, the Commanding General of III Armored Corps and Fort Hood, for the 26 years of support for the Dutch military at the base.
  • Capital Factory Innovation Center: The King and Queen will tour the center and attend an event for local startups, tech companies, and investors, where startups will make pitches focused on the shared challenges. Dutch CEOs will give feedback.  Media should contact Ms. Carley Deardorff at carleydeardorff@capitalfactory.com or Ms. Remi Donnelly at remidonnelly@capitalfactory.com to register to cover this event by close of business on September  2.

September 9

  • Urban Resilience Round Table: Houston and Rotterdam both have to deal with the effects of rising sea levels.  The King and Queen will attend the Urban Resilience round table discussion which is a follow up event to the Living with Water Houston workshops organized in 2018-2019. At the event, Dutch and American experts will give recommendations to improve Houston’s resilience.  After the event, the King and Queen will take a boat trip on the Buffalo Bayou waterway. Media should contact Ms. Mary Benton at Mary.Benton@houstontx.gov to register to cover the Urban Resilience Round Table by close of business on September 2.  Further logistical details for these events will be provided upon media registration.

Members of the media should contact: