The Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte praised Huawei's contribution to the development of the country's ICT infrastructure during a meeting with Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of the Chinese equipment vendor.
Rutte said he looked forward to strengthening the Netherlands' relationship with Huawei following a successful decade that has seen the Chinese company handle the rollout of several ICT technologies for consumers, government and businesses in the country.
"Huawei has been active in our country for many years, where it continues to make a significant contribution to digitising the Netherlands; for example, building 4G networks, providing intranets for local governments, and installing Wi-Fi in Amsterdam's football stadium," Rutte commented during a visit to Huawei's global headquarters in Shenzhen, China.
The Chinese vendor established a presence in the Netherlands in 2004, and today has 650 employees in the country--the majority (78 per cent) of which are Dutch citizens. Huawei now plans to open a new logistics centre in Eindhoven to improve service to its European customers.
Zhengfei also noted that Huawei has "established a series of Centres of Expertise (COEs) in the Netherlands, leveraging the nation's open and stable business environment."
Rutte's backing is a further boost for Huawei's European operations, coming in the same week that a UK team of cyber security experts ruled that the company poses no risk to national security.
The team is housed in an independent security centre set up by Huawei in the UK to address ongoing concerns about Zhengfei's former role as an officer in China's People's Liberation Army, which has prompted concerns about the security of Huawei's equipment that has seen the company shut out of the U.S. market, and facing close scrutiny in Australia.
An independent audit of the UK security team--which is made up of Huawei staff and representatives from the government and intelligence agencies--by Ernst & Young found it is meeting its obligation to mitigate any security risks associated with Huawei's equipment.
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