On Monday, June 15, Minister Kaag (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) will kick off the first Dutch digital trade mission.

The mission brings digital companies in the field of smart and electric transport into contact with potential partners on the American West Coast. Kaag opens the mission in an online meeting with participating companies and Lieutenant Governor of California Eleni Kounalakis.

More than 30 companies and organizations have already registered for the mission that will focus on the future of mobility and electric transport. The digital mission replaces a planned mission to a major mobility conference in Portland, which will now be digital due to the coronacrisis.

Minister Kaag: “I am very pleased that we can continue to support Dutch companies in an innovative way with international business. About 2.5 million Dutch jobs depend on foreign trade. We want to support these international companies so that they will be able to do business just as successfully again. This digital trade mission is a good example of how businesses and government are joining forces in this difficult time. The mission brings together Dutch and American innovation and expertise: first digitally, and later on in real life. This way we continue to work on sustainable growth and prosperity now.”

The digital mission, which will take place from June 15-19, consists of daily online group meetings, a series of thematic webinars with Dutch and American experts, and tailor-made matchmaking and networking sessions with potential American business partners. The mission aims to recreate the experience of a traditional trade mission: building a strong international network, simulated in an online form. To this end, a digital platform will be used, where participants can meet. Various types of video conferences will be offered.

Gerbert Kunst, Consul General of the Netherlands in San Francisco: “Where else should the first digital mission go than Silicon Valley, the global center of technological innovation? Dutch entrepreneurs are tremendously affected by the economic consequences of the coronacrisis, which is a threat to both employment and prosperity. We can support them with innovative services. The innovative mindset of the Netherlands and our smart solutions to societal challenges such as mobility fit well with California, where innovation and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. I look forward to letting participants experience Silicon Valley from their own homes.”

The digital mission is organized by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in San Francisco, in collaboration with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C. A number of Dutch cities, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht, are also involved. The mission is in line with the online program of Forth, the American umbrella organization for advancing electric, smart and shared mobility.