Dutch Embassy Gears Up for Economic Mission to North Sumatra

Head of our Economic Department, Mr. Hans de Brabander, visited Medan on 25 and 26 October to continue preparations of the planned Dutch economic mission to North Sumatra. Accompanied by Agriculture Counsellor, Mr. Joost van Uum, and Dutch Honorary Consul in Medan, Mr. Ony Hindra Kusuma, he met Vice Governor Musa Rajekshah of North Sumatra in the morning of 26 October.

The visit of Mr. De Brabander and his team aimed to strengthen the established relations with the provincial government. During his meeting with Vice Governor Musa Rajekshah, Mr. De Brabander conveyed his appreciation for the support given by the provincial government in organizing the preparatory virtual “focus sessions” for Dutch companies, and discussed the way forward to strengthen the economic relations through the upcoming mission.

This particularly focusing on the nexus of AgriFood-Water and Waste-Energy, emphasizing trade and knowledge transfer. Based on the discussion, collaboration on waste management may, for instance, focus on waste technology (e.g. organic waste, liquid waste); while on AgriFood focus may be on training and education. They also discussed potential collaboration on sustainable tourism in Lake Toba, linking to the “Living Lab” program of Nuffic Neso.

Additionally, Mr. De Brabander and Vice Governor Rajekshah discussed support for North Sumatran Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to be able to export their products to the European market, following up on the “focus session” for North Sumatran SMEs with Dutch organizations CBI and PUM last June. At the moment, the Embassy is facilitating possible coaching for SMEs with Dutch experts.

The Vice Governor and his team expressed their support for the Embassy in organizing the economic mission. To ensure the effectiveness of the mission, the mission is forecasted to be held in the beginning of next year (second half of January 2022).

Within the same framework, Mr. De Brabander and his team also met the Regional Secretary of Medan City, Ir. Wiriya Alrahman, MM, to discuss potential collaboration areas between the private sector from the Netherlands and Medan. This includes collaboration in waste management in the city (e.g. collecting and processing), as well as trading of agriculture products to the neighboring markets. As the capital of North Sumatra, Medan acts as a hub where manufacturing and trading sectors contribute significantly to the economy.

Background: Dutch Economic Mission to North Sumatra

From April to September this year, the Embassy has organized virtual “focus sessions” for Dutch companies, zooming in on the economic developments in the province (read the recap here). Building on these, the Embassy aims to organize a visit to the province with representatives of Dutch companies and organizations as soon as COVID-19 circumstances allow for it.

The virtual events have led to concrete identification of areas of potential collaboration between the Netherlands and North Sumatra, particularly on the nexus of AgriFood-Water and Waste-Energy. Our Embassy’s economic team also visited Medan in the end of September to follow-up on the leads resulting from the focus sessions on waste management and energy, among others in meeting a number of state-owned and private companies requiring solutions in the two sectors. Furthermore, the Dutch Agriculture Counsellor visited the Humbang Hasundutan Regency mid-October, to explore collaboration opportunities in food systems development.

Dutch companies interested to participate in the mission can fill in the questionnaire here. Please do not hesitate to contact our Embassy should there be further questions (JAK-EA@minbuza.nl).

Photos: Provincial Government of North Sumatra, City Government of Medan