The Province of Friesland held a ceremony on Monday, 22 May to announce the winners of the ‘Incoming Trade Missions 2018’ contest. At the gathering, the Water Alliance learned that it, together with four other initiators, had each won €20,000 to organize a foreign trade mission to Friesland in 2018.
The Water Alliance will use the funds during the European Water Technology Week Leeuwarden 2018 (24 to 27 September 2018) to bring water hubs from all over the world to Leeuwarden. This will put Leeuwarden more prominently on the map in regard to water technology.
An important requirement for the entries was to stimulate export among Friesian SMEs. In Friesland, some 7% of businesses export, while the national average is 10%. The Water Alliance’s plan is perfectly in line with the contest goal. By linking the water hubs coming into Friesland with SMEs, through matchmaking sessions and networking opportunities, there is a greater chance of international collaboration and exports from Friesian companies. At the same time it enhances the desirability of Friesland as a location for establishing internationally-oriented businesses. That means a win for all sides.
In total, there were 17 participants. The other winners are Bildtse Aardappelen, Van Hall Larenstein, WTC Leeuwarden and the Friesian Export Club. Sander de Rouwe, Member of the Provincial Executive of Friesland, was pleased with the outcome: “We are very satisfied. The plans submitted will stimulate international trade and the Friesian economy. We look forward to welcoming the trade missions to Friesland in 2018.”
The prizes were presented by the jury members. The jury was made up of Robert van de Leur (entrepreneur/investor), Emile Stuy (winner of Friesian Entrepreneur 2016), Jos Pâques (Club Diplomatique), Dina Boonstra (NDC Mediagroep) and Annabelle Birnie (Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018). The jury assessed the plans and, in addition, will remain involved in the organization of the trade missions that come to Friesland in 2018.