On January 24th, the last day of the Chinese year of the Pig, Zuid-Holland Province, in collaboration with Dutch Sino Business Promotions, hosted a meeting to celebrate the new year of the Rat. During the meeting there was time to look back at the Zuid-Holland mission to China in November 2019 and to look forward to the China activities in 2020. All participants to the mission were invited for the meeting, as well as all Provincial Parliament members and partner organisations.
The participants were welcomed by King’s Commissioner Jaap Smit. He reflected on the November mission. Several agreements were signed by InnovationQuarter and IGMPR. Codema opened a branch office in China. The development of a Dutch style greenhouse agropark by Dutch Greenhouse Delta started with the unveiling of a memorial stone.
Agreements have been made both in Hebei and Shanghai to achieve a more effective working method, especially regarding the development of Xiongan New Area. Zuid-Holland will nominate experts for the Hebei expert advisory board, an intersectoral partnership where usually only Chinese experts participate in.
With a larger role of China on the world stage, Jaap Smit stressed that keeping the dialogue with Chinese partners is important, preferably in connection with national and European partners.
Ingrid d’Hooghe, researcher at Clingendael Institute and lecturer at Leiden University, shared her insights with the audience. With her years of experience, she told the audience that China offers a lot of opportunities, but a solid preparation is crucial for success. Protect what can and should be protected, don’t be naïve and use the knowledge and experience of others.
Jean-Christophe Spapens shared the outline for the year plan 2020 with the audience. A large part of the activities will take place in the context of the two new Memoranda of Cooperation that will be signed with Hebei and Shanghai Pudong. In these memoranda, Zuid-Holland wants to make agreements about the challenges that Chinese partners are facing and what Zuid-Holland can offer concretely. Same as last year, Dutch Sino Business Promotions will support the Province of Zuid-Holland with all the China-activities.
Part of the Zuid-Holland strategy is supporting consortia and Dutch companies in China, working with partner organizations (for example RVO, IQ, Embassy) and attracting Chinese investors. With regard to cooperation with other governmental bodies, Zuid-Holland supports the Greening Cities mission of RVO. Emiel Mulder of RVO introduced the mission to the audience, which was at the time still planned in March 2020, but will be postponed till further notice.