Vice Minister for the Environment Roald Lapperre will lead a comprehensive trade mission to California Nov. 11-15, focusing on resiliency, smart mobility, and circular economy.

Nearly 40 innovative Dutch companies will join Vice Minister Lapperre to exchange knowledge, make connections, and deepen cooperation with California counterparts in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.

Dutch and California stakeholders for years have worked together and exchanged expertise on resiliency, smart mobility, and circular economy issues. The trade mission is meant to follow-up and extend Dutch-American partnerships that were made during the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018.

The mission program

Vice Minister Lapperre, on behalf of Minister Stientje van Veldhoven, will start the trade mission on November 12 with a visit to the Port of San Francisco and Paperfoam, a Dutch-American company that excels in sustainable packaging. The first day will conclude with a trade event where American and Dutch experts in sustainability will exchange ideas.

Further highlights of the mission include:

  • Nov. 13, San Jose: Vice Minister Lapperre will deliver a keynote speech on the Dutch approach to sustainability, climate change, and the circular economy at the BSR Conference in San Jose.
  • Nov. 13, Sacramento: Signing a letter of intent with Lt. Governor of Califonria Eleni Kounalakis on circular economy, sustainable mobility, and resiliency.
  • Nov. 14, Los Angeles: Keynote speech by Vice Minister Lapperre during the LA CoMotion Conference, highlighting Dutch policies on sustainable mobility and transportation, including public transport, cycling, and electric transportation. Visit to Culver City and the LA River, discussing Dutch efforts on resiliency, Dutch expertise in water management, and sustainability with the LA Flood Management District and the Metropolitan Water District.
  • Nov. 15: Meeting with the LA 2028 Olympic Games Committee. Orientation and discussion on hosting sustainable sporting events and exchange of ideas.

Building partnerships

The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Dutch delegation see many opportunities to work together in resiliency, smart and e-mobility, and circular economy initiatives.

Dutch and California companies aim to explore markets, make connections, and establish partnerships. This trade mission, which includes many company visits, conferences, and matchmaking events, will amplify those efforts.

“We believe addressing climate change and profitable business go hand in hand,” said Consul General Gerbert Kunst. “The Netherlands is taking a major leap toward becoming resilient and fully circular, but we are not there yet. International cooperation is necessary to reach our goals. I am therefore glad that the Netherlands and California share a pioneering and inventive spirit, which is based on our climate and environmental partnership.”

Becoming circular by 2050

The Netherlands has the ambition to become a fully circular economy by 2050. Faced with flooding threats and managing a lot of activity in a small country, the Dutch have developed the expertise to solve many of the big challenges that communities around the world face today, including climate change, rising water, population growth, urbanization, and transportation issues.

And as a smaller country, the Netherlands has always been pragmatic in figuring out durable, smart solutions for the challenges ahead. As California deals with many of the same challenges, this trade mission is an excellent opportunity for both parties to exchange ideas, knowledge, and expertise to prepare the Netherlands, the US, and the rest of the world for a better future in resiliency, smart mobility, and the circular economy.

For more information, please contact Jesper Dekker, Embassy of the Netherlands, at +1 202-855-8381 or jesper.dekker@minbuza.nl Follow @NLintheUSA and @NLinSF on Twitter or read our blog.