The Kingdom of the Netherlands’ presence as a global leader in innovation, its efforts to expand partnerships and trade opportunities in the U.S., and the benefits for Pennsylvania firms conducting business with the Netherlands were all discussed during an engaging roundtable discussion held at the PA Chamber’s headquarters in Harrisburg last week.
PA Chamber members and staff were honored to welcome Consul General to the Netherlands in New York Ahmed Dadou and the office’s Senior Economic Advisor Carter Craft, along with Philadelphia Honorary Consul Wilfred Muskens and Pittsburgh Honorary Consul Tom Johnson. Consul General Dadou is headquartered in New York and represents the Netherlands in a region that includes Pennsylvania.
Dadou briefed attendees on his duties as Consul General and his office’s mission of strengthening the cultural and business ties between the U.S. and the Netherlands. The Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands provides consular (i.e., diplomatic) services to Dutch nationals and oversees support to foreign nationals seeking assistance from the Dutch government.
Other attendees included officials from TeamPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), as well as representatives from the World Trade Center, Eurasia Business Council, Bentley Systems, and the GIANT Company – a subsidiary of Dutch-based Ahold Delhaize.
While the Netherlands is a relatively small nation, it is home to the world’s 17th-largest economy and ranks 11th in per capita GDP. Additionally, the country’s second-largest city, Rotterdam, boasts the largest port in Europe, and the Netherlands’ geography gives it prime access to U.K. and German trade markets.
The Netherlands is also the world’s second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, having developed advanced agricultural production techniques that could benefit American farmers and growers as we work to expand our agricultural sector and find solutions to issues such as food security.
Consul General Dadou mentioned that the Netherlands operates “innovation attachés” in three U.S. cities (Washington, Boston, and San Fransisco) with the aim of stimulating international cooperation in the fields of scientific research, technology, and innovation. According to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherlands Innovation Network (NIN) helps to “support companies and organizations realize their international ambitions” by linking Dutch and global innovation markets.
Referencing the Netherlands’ standing as fifth on the Global Innovation Index, he expressed hope that Pennsylvania will become part of this network and partner with the Netherlands on initiatives related to business development, agricultural advancement, and research.
Additional issues covered during the roundtable included the Netherlands’ innovative and forward-thinking approach to water technology and how that could translate into partnering with the use of water and its recycling in the natural gas space, as well as the sports entertainment business and its impact on Pennsylvania’s tourism industry.
Consul General Dadou encouraged business leaders in attendance to visit the Netherlands to discover why so many businesses choose to locate there, from the livability of its cities to the connectivity of its airlines and public transportation networks. He added the Dutch people are very open to business – they are, in fact, the inventors of the stock exchange, “so doing business is in our DNA,” Dadou said. “For only 17 million people, we are proud of what we’ve achieved,” he added, noting that many of those people would be excited to explore doing business with companies in Pennsylvania.
The PA Chamber regularly welcomes officials from foreign governments for engagements with Pennsylvania’s business community. If you would like to participate in a future event, or are interested in connecting with representatives from other nations about business opportunities, please contact the PA Chamber team.