The Economic Mission during the State Visit of Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima focuses on 8 important- and innovative sectors. Within these sectors we see opportunities to reinforce the French-Dutch collaboration. During our countdown to the Economic Mission, we will briefly discuss the 8 key sectors and the relevance of these sectors for both the Netherlands and France. This week we’ll take a closer look at the Biobased Economy.
France is a key player in Europe regarding biobased economy (BBE). The emphasis in France moved gradually from bio-energy towards products with a high added value. The cascade approach is gaining influence rapidly. Furthermore it is very interesting to note that government, research institutes and enterprises work closely together in this field. This provides real opportunities for Dutch companies to engage in partnerships with French partners e.g. for developing new products or jointly approaching markets for biobased products.
In recent years many efforts were made by both the French embassy in the NL as well as the Dutch embassy in Paris to bring companies from both countries in touch with each other. During the visit of President Hollande (January, 2014) to the Netherlands, BBE was an important topic for discussion between companies of both countries. After that, a Dutch business delegation participated twice in the B2B event SIÑAL in Châlons-en-Champagne. And this was very successful! Several participants were able to establish partnerships with French companies. However, the potential to deepen and expand business relationships between companies of both countries is still quite big, especially in view of the expansion of the BBE sector in France.
The French government supports this development especially through the ‘Pôles de Competitivité’, through which government, research institutes and R&D departments of companies work closely together as partners to develop innovations and introduce them in the production processes. ‘Pôle Industries & Agro- Ressources’ (IAR) is one of the most important partners for Dutch companies. IAR is based in Northern France, in the regions Picardie and Champagne-Ardenne. These are the regions where most of the French arable crops are produced and where a concentration of agro-industry is found. Exactly this region offers many interesting connections for Dutch companies.
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