NETHERLANDS - The government has called on pension funds to contribute to the economic recovery by investing in the Dutch financial sector.

Representatives of the departments for finance and economic affairs met with institutional investors today to discuss the options, a spokeswoman of the Treasury said.

"During our first meeting, we spoke about a wide-ranging participation in the national economy," the spokeswoman said. "No concrete arrangements have been made yet, and we will resume talks after the summer."

Finance minister Wouter Bos has asked pension funds to invest in now state-owned bank ABN Amro.

"If investments in the financial sector and infrastructure can be based on sound returns and manageable risks, we are interested," said Hans ten Brinke, spokesman for APG, the asset manager of the large civil service pension fund ABP.

Ten Brinke stressed, however, that APG does not want any pressure from the government, "as any investment must fit within our investment strategy".

"We had orientating discussions today, and have made it clear that our criteria for investing in the national economy are diversification and a responsible risk-return profile," said David Uittenbogaard, spokesman for PGGM, the asset manager of the €75bn healthcare scheme Zorg en Welzijn.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email