Economic mission and Royal State visit: Dutch businesses popular in Canada (May 26th - June 4th)

01.06.2015 By: RVO

An enormous greenhouse complex and a new approach to eradicating aphids. During the state visit to Canada, businesses from both countries signed partnership agreements worth almost €100 million on Thursday. These occasions were presided over by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, as well as the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen. The latter is heading a trade mission of 63 Dutch businesses and knowledge institutions alongside the state visit.

TRANSFER was responsable for organizing the group visits and setting up the appointments (more than 250!) between Dutch participants and Canadian counterparts.

The business delegates are active in such sectors as water, horticulture, IT and urban planning. Ms Ploumen explained, ‘The ties between our two countries were already strong, since a million Canadians have Dutch roots. During this mission we’ll be showcasing more of our strengths. Dutch businesses with expertise in future-proof construction and high-grade horticulture are pretty popular here.’

Four partnership agreements were signed on Thursday. During a visit by the royal couple and Ms Ploumen to a Dutch orchid grower in Beamsville the Dutch company AAB International signed up for the construction of a greenhouse complex the size of 80 football pitches. RijkZwaan established a partnership with Vineland Innovation and Research Center and the Lettuce Foundation to exchange expertise on environmentally-friendly ways to eradicate aphids. The minister commented, ‘These partnerships are bringing innovative solutions by the Dutch agricultural and horticultural sector to Canada. We’re particularly strong when it comes to sustainability. So exporting our expertise doesn’t just bring benefits for our own companies, but also for sustainable food production in other countries.’

In the evening, Ms Ploumen was present in Toronto when an agreement was signed between Canadian Food Innovators, Wageningen University and GMV-Dutch Food Systems, aimed at introducing new technologies, machinery and products in the Canadian food-processing industry. The Dutch and Canadian Green Building Councils also established a partnership in the field of sustainable construction. This week the energy-saving company BAS signed no fewer than three agreements with Canadian partners initiating partnerships in the field of sustainable energy. Next week a declaration of intent will be signed in Vancouver by the Dutch firm Cubicco International, regarding the assembly of modular housing in Canada by VeenkampBC, a firm with Dutch origins.

Toronto waterfront
Last Friday, Ms Ploumen attended two seminars presenting Dutch business expertise to Canadian businesses and institutions. The Resilient Cities Summit focussed on the sectors of water, urban development and sustainable construction. Ms Ploumen explained, ‘Toronto’s waterfront is vulnerable to flooding and is about to undergo major redevelopment. Dutch water expertise is very much in demand in this project.’ At the Feeding The City Seminar, businesses from the food industry gave give presentations on nutrition, sustainability, innovation and food processing. In the afternoon the minister travelled to Montreal, where she met the crew of the naval vessel HNLMS Karel Doorman, which has sailed there to highlight military ties with Canada. Seventy years after Canada played a major role in liberating the Netherlands, these remain strong.

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