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Newsletter #52

November 2019

Business interest in the Netherlands has surged since brexit


Recently, the “Financieele Dagblad”, a Dutch newspaper focused on business and financial matters, interviewed Mr Jeroen Nijland, Commissioner at the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), about bringing foreign businesses to the Netherlands. The conversation concentrated on Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and how it has affected business investments in mainland Europe.

Given the recent office opening of NFIA in Sydney, co-located in our Consulate General in Bondi Junction, there was a focus on Australian businesses in particular. For a while, Britain was seen as the most logical location for Australian businesses opening a physical office in Europe. However, with Brexit underway, the Netherlands has seen a surge in interest. There are currently 60 active Australian businesses located in the Netherlands.

Last year, 42 foreign businesses moved their offices to the Netherlands. Now, the NFIA is speaking to over 325 other businesses about making the same move. According to Nijland, the NFIA sees the most potential for companies active in financial services, tech, agro and life sciences as it will enrich the Netherlands.

Read More [in Dutch]

Applying for Dutch passports and visas in Perth is now possible all year round!

VFS Global, situated in Perth, had its official opening on 7 November for those applying for Dutch passports or ID cards. This is a great opportunity for the Dutch community in Western Australia given they do not have to travel all the way to the Consulate General in Sydney for Dutch passports and ID cards.

Consul General Frank van Beuningen, together with Regional Head of VFS Global in Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific Harpreet Singh, as well as our first applicant cut the ribbon to symbolise the official opening!

Please note that the first available date to officially book an appointment at VFS Global in Perth is 1 December 2019. Before this date it is not possible to apply. To book your appointment for 1 December or after, please click "Read more".

Holland Container Innovations' new business model changing the supply chain

A current challenge that the shipping industry is facing is minimising sulphur and CO2 emissions in the supply chain. Holland Container Innovations (HCI), the Dutch developer of a revolutionary foldable ISO shipping container called 4FOLD, believes they have come up with a solution.

Introducing a new business model that targets both challenges that the industry is trying to tackle, CEO of HCI Hans Broekhuis states that “some shippers do not even realise the CO2 impact of the empty repositioning leg, and are shocked when they find out.” The fact that four 4FOLD container units can be shipped in the same place that one conventional container takes in, plays a key role in reducing said emissions.

With a local distributer already situated in Melbourne, 4FOLD is looking to expand further. This new innovative Dutch logistics model can facilitate not only future transport, but make Australian and Dutch import and export more sustainable.

Read more

20 Australian university students travelling to the Netherlands

This year Australian Dutch Business Connect is facilitating the organisation of a week-long visit to the Netherlands by a group of 20 Australian university students in early December. The focus of this business immersion trip is innovation, leadership and entre/intra-preneurship. The group will visit Rabobank, Randstad, Microsoft, Dell, SAS Institute, Nokia, IBM, Philips,, Nyenrode and KPMG.

The visit is seen by both participating organisations and students as a unique opportunity to connect cultures and generations, and facilitate exchange of insights. The trip is managed by E-LEAD, an Australian organisation devoted to developing and enhancing the capabilities, aspirations and impact of future and emerging leaders for active global leadership.

If there are any Dutch companies or Australian students who would like to be involved in a future trip of Australian university students to the Netherlands, then please let Australian Dutch Business Connect know by contacting Victor Konijn at and they will be in touch.

Atlas Professionals' event on the future of wind energy

Atlas Professionals co-hosted a successful Renewables Roundtable event on 10 September in the Perth office. Over 40 leaders and decision makers of local and international oil and gas companies based in Western Australia attended the event.

Andy Evans, CEO of the Star of the South offshore wind farm project, presented on "The Future of Offshore Wind in Australia", and provided an update on the status, next steps and procurement activities of the Star of the South project, as well as local community and government involvement in the project.

As a follow-up on the previous event, another networking event was held at the Atlas Professionals Perth office on 23 September with the Star of the South Procurement Team. The presentation on this day focused on the project's schedule, opportunities to participate, contracting strategy as well as foreseen procurement drivers and challenges.

Please click "Read more" for more information about the event.

Read more

Acclaimed Dutch Professor Andy van den Dobbelsteen in Australia


As part of our “Springtime for Circularity- No time to waste!”, where the Dutch diplomatic missions in Australia as well as Australian and Dutch partners present an impressive line-up of Dutch circular economy experts, Andy van den Dobbelsteen, professor in Climate Design and Sustainability at TU Delft, visited Australia last week. An expert in sustainable building and in reducing the carbon footprint of cities, Andy was in Hobart in the week of 28 October where he visited the University of Tasmania and presented to the Tasmanian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects.

The following day, Andy spoke about the trajectory towards a circular construction industry at a breakfast event of the Master Builders Association of Victoria in Melbourne. This was followed by a tour of Melbourne’s fast evolving urban CBD landscape. The day concluded with 19 students presenting their proposals for making the Great Ocean Road climate resilient. These students are in their first year of Monash University’s new Masters in Urban Planning and Design, and study both the threats that the 100 year old road is facing as well as the Victorian townships along the way. Andy’s added insight and Dutch experience was a great addition to the assessment, especially when it comes to protecting the shoreline from the powerful Southern ocean!

On Friday, Andy presented at Swinburne university’s Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Digital Construction. This was followed by a meeting with several professors from Melbourne, to discuss strengthening the ties between TU Delft and universities Down Under.

Prof Van den Dobbelsteen also visited the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to present to the Hon Robert Stokes, NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces. The focus here is a possible cooperation between UNSW and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS). The meeting was a direct result of Minister Stokes meeting with Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands when he visited Australia last month.

Dutch and Australian cities are facing similar challenges, and in the current era of big data, open data and smart cities, this data can be used to better plan for the future of our cities. AMS is using such data in Amsterdam to improve issues around housing, energy, waste and mobility. UNSW has a dedicated city analytics team that works with local councils to come up with similar solutions for Australian cities. Because of the synergies and shared objective to improve our urban environment, there is a great opportunity to intensify Dutch-Australian cooperation in this field.


Dutch company Hardt Hyperloop changing future transportation

Transportation has not seen many developments in the last 100 years, but that is changing. Dutch company Hardt Hyperloop is working towards transforming the way we move around the world with a new form of transportation. It has the essence of a train but is faster, more efficient and sustainable.

A Hyperloop is a sealed tube or system of tubes through which a pod travels free of air resistance or friction, allowing it to go at high speeds while simultaneously being efficient. The development of this concept is still underway in many countries.

The company from Delft, Hardt Hyperloop, has already tested its own technology on a 30 meters test track. This past year, the company received millions of euros in investments to build a 3 kilometer long test track in the Netherlands.

The CEO of Hardt Hyperloop believes that the first real Hyperloop connection will launch in 2025. Though it will most likely begin with a short route of 50 kilometers, it doesn’t hurt to imagine a future where travel times are drastically reduced, especially in a country as big as Australia.

For a virtual representation of what the station and pods will look like, please click "Watch more".

Watch more

A blue economy that can make a greener society

Dutch marine architect Koen Olthuis believes that building on ocean water is the direction architecture is heading. This is known as a ‘blue economy’: a growing interest in marine architecture and offshore engineering. Not only does this cut down enormous infrastructure costs but also poses a potential solution to congested coastal cities and rising sea levels, which is reassuring during our climate change challenges.

Olthuis uses the next Olympic games as an example of what can be staged on water. He explains his thought experiment in three sentences: 'We will build some floating stadiums and floating hotels and you can lease these structures for your city. And you use them and pay for their use for three or four months…Then they move to another city. It becomes much more logical."

In Rotterdam, these kinds of structures are already being actively designed. Considering the country’s experience with water, there is plenty of knowledge that Dutch experts have to offer. Sessional Lecturer and PhD Candidate at Queensland University of Technology Brydon Wang adds that attitudinal change around the world is beginning to transform our near coastal environments seeing as a wide range of urban infrastructure is located offshore (ex. energy-related facilities).

Read more

Websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs


For Dutch people abroad: (NL) (EN)

For foreigners interested in NL: (EN)


If you're interested in investing in the Netherlands, visit the website of the NFIA.


Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Sydney


Level 23, Tower 2 - 101 Grafton Street (cnr Grosvenor street), Sydney, Australia Bondi Junction NSW 2022

T: +61 2 8305 6807