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Calley rings bell at NYSE/Euronet as Netherlands investment mission continues

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley arrives at the New York Stock Exchange/Euronet in Amsterdam during an investment mission to the Netherlands. Calley had the honor of ringing the bell Tuesday to open trading at the stock exchange.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Lt. Gov. Brian Calley arrived in Amsterdam today to ring the opening bell that starts the day's trading session at the New York Stock Exchange/Euronet as he continues his Michigan investment mission in The Netherlands.

"It was an honor to join in the opening ceremony," Calley said. "Michigan is more business-friendly than ever and the economy is getting stronger every day. I can think of no better way to celebrate our accomplishments than to take part in this great tradition."

Calley also met with high-ranking officials from the Netherlands Foreign Affairs Office, including Dr. Lilianne Ploumen, minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, and Simon Smits, director-general for Foreign Economic Relations. They discussed the importance of bilateral trade to increase export levels between Michigan and The Netherlands.

Minister Ploumen has served the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in that role since November 2012. Prior to that appointment, she was chair of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2012. She also worked for the development organization Cordaid, first as head of quality and strategy and later as director of international programs.

Director-General Smits has served the Foreign Economic Relations in his role since 2012. Previously he served as director-general of international relations for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, and he has held other government positions since 1982.

Calley and the Michigan delegation will devote the rest of the week traveling in The Hague and Zeeland to meet with executives of financial institutions, advanced agricultural production and technology companies and host a meeting with automotive suppliers. He will also meet with Dutch companies that have industrial, financial and agriculture facilities around the state.  

Joining Calley on the mission are Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger and state Sen. Arlan Meekhof.

The investment mission was instituted by the West Michigan Global Initiative with assistance of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., The Right Place Inc., of Grand Rapids, and Detroit Regional Chamber.

The Netherlands, located in Europe bordered by Germany, Belgium and the North Sea, is home to some 16,750,000 people. Business leaders and economists estimate large potential growth opportunities for Michigan in the Netherlands:

  • In 2012, Michigan companies exported $332.8 million in goods and materials to the Netherlands, making it Michigan's 18th largest export market.
  • Key Michigan exports to the Netherlands include chemicals, computer and electronic products, transportation equipment and machinery (excluding electrical).
  • The Netherlands is the seventh largest source country for foreign direct investment in Michigan in terms of projects, with a total of 12 projects and $30 million in capital investment over the last ten years.

The West Michigan Global Initiative serves to facilitate the establishment of significant and long-term business, civic, and cultural relationships between the West Michigan region and the Netherlands; building on the longstanding historic cultural ties between the two communities. The WMGI also serves as the coordinating body of the Legislative Dutch Caucus, a bipartisan political association of Members of the Michigan Legislature established to foster cultural, political, and business ties between Michigan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. To learn more about the WMGI, please visit

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