The Netherlands is coming to Seattle this week with a pop-up consulate to strengthen the business ties between Washington State and the Dutch business community.
The team from the Dutch consulate in San Francisco will work from Seattle for a week to connect on topics such as tech innovation, sustainability, and mobility. There will be meetings with Dutch and American companies and government officials. The pop-up will also renew passports of Dutch nationals in Washington.
The Netherlands, small in population but large in foreign investment in the United States, is a European hub for tech and circular economy, but also for agriculture and logistics. Washington State exports more than $1.6 billion (2017) worth of goods and services to the Netherlands, which supports more than 16,000 jobs in the state. The state imports $400 million from the Netherlands.
Consul General Dirk Janssen: “The Netherlands and Seattle have much in common, both are recognized as leading innovators in the start-up, mobility, and agricultural fields. Seattle-based companies as Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks are all active in the Netherlands. And it is no surprise that innovative Dutch companies as NewCold cold storage, VanMoof Bikes and recently opened CitizenM hotels have made Washington their home. And obviously there’s the Holland American Line. The Netherlands and the University of Washington also work together in the field of AgTech, including fruit orchard automation and robotization. I’m excited to connect the Netherlands and Washington, and strengthen our friendship and business ties.”
The diplomatic delegation will meet with Amazon on artificial intelligence, Washington Lieutenant Governor Denny Heck, and Agriculture Secretary Derek Sandison. The consulate will also present the Seattle Playbook, an online magazine for Dutch startups that want to expand to Washington State.
According to Consul General Janssen, Dutch businesses are often not aware of the business prospects in Seattle, which means a missed opportunity: “The stories of successful Dutchies in our playbook show you how to do business here. Seattle’s opportunities are clear: strong economic growth and home to Microsoft, Amazon, and hundreds of innovative tech companies. With a laid-back vibe, outdoor lifestyle, and great coffee, Seattle feels like Europe. It might be a better fit for certain Dutch companies, that have a great chance to build a network, find funding, and create a profitable business here. But don’t be fooled: doing business here does require adaptation, and that’s where the consulate and this playbook come in.”
An estimated 160,000 people of Dutch descent live in Washington State, including in the Skaget Valley, famous for its annual tulip festival. There is an active Dutch community in Seattle, with a Dutch school and several social groups.
For details, please contact Mr. Sietze Vermeulen, Consulate General of the Netherlands, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 415-866-5572