Our Story

Canals are an essential part of many cityscapes throughout the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a trading nation that blossomed from a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and that is rooted in strong beliefs in security, freedom, and justice.

Around 1600, the first contacts between Chile and the Netherlands occurred in the region of Valdivia. Dutch were very active in maritime mapping and especially in gathering information about the Americas, which then was shared with other European countries.

A second emigration from the Netherlands to Chile occurred in 1895. A dozen Dutch families settled in Chile between 1895 and 1897, particularly in Mechaico, Huillinco and Chacao. Egbert Hageman arrived in Chile with his family, on 14 April 1896, settling in Rio Gato, near Puerto Montt. The Wennekool family began  the Dutch presence in Villarica.

In the early twentieth century, a large group of Dutch people arrived in Chile from South Africa. These migrants, after a long stay in African camps, were presented with the opportunity to emigrate to Chile with the help of the Chilean government.

On 4 May 1903, a group of over 200 Dutch sailed on the steamship “Oropesa” owned by the shipping company “Pacific Steam Navigation Company”, from La Rochelle (La Pallice) in France. The majority had been born in the Netherlands (35% from North Holland and South Holland, 13% from North Brabant, 9% from Zeeland and an equal number of Gelderland). Only a dozen children had been born in South Africa. On June 5, they arrived by train to the city of Pitrufquén.

Another group of Dutchmen arrived shortly after to Talcahuano, in the “Oravi” and the “Orissa”. The Netherlands colony in Donguil was christened “New Transvaal Colony”. More than 500 Dutch families moved there. The last group of Boers arrived between 7 February 1907 and February 18, 1909.

Some 50,000 descendants remain, mostly located in Malleco, Gorbea, Pitrufquén, Faja Maisan and around Temuco.

Now  there is a mutual partnership in the economic relations between  the Netherlands and Chile that has created jobs, sound investments, and promising opportunities. And the ties between our two countries keep growing stronger.

In recent times, the Netherlands has become a fixture in the top five largest foreign investors in Chile. With its favorable business climate, highly trained workforce, and strategic position in Europe, the Netherlands attracts a lot of Chilean businesses too. The Netherlands, with Rotterdam as gateway to Europe is of utmost importance for Chilean exports to reach its European clients.

The Netherlands and Chile are stable, reliable partners, we share fundamental values in the international arena, are committed to and dependent on an open global economy, have ambitious goals to combat climate change and have a fruitful bilateral relationship in the field of trade and investment to the benefit of both countries.  

The Netherlands diplomatic network in Chile promotes strong bilateral relations between Chile and the Netherlands. In trade we cooperate in  the areas of agriculture, water management, ports and logistics, circular economy and sustainable cities. There is a strong link with climate and sustainability in these areas. On human rights Chile and the Netherlands are likeminded in the multilateral context. In Chile the Netherlands promote  gender equality, LGBTI topics, and responsible business conduct. And the ties between our two countries keep growing stronger, thanks to mutually agreed Letters of Intent in several areas and the recently launched Holland House Chile (binational business council), among others.

For more information on the Netherlands, please email the embassy’s communications department at stg-ea@minbuza.nl

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