Why we are writing on this topic:
Themes such as energy transition, sustainability, science and smart mobility were central to the royal visit. The business community can benefit from this through the trade mission.
The commercial highlight of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima’s visit to Sweden in recent days had a strong accent from Brainport Eindhoven. Representatives of Mean, VDL, NXPand Phillipsamong others, participated in discussions with CEOs of Dutch and Swedish companies on common challenges and opportunities to expand cooperation.
The royal couple’s visit was at the invitation of King Carl XVI Gustaf. In addition to the King and Queen, Ministers Hoekstra for Foreign Affairs, Ollongren for Defense and Dijkgraaf for Education, Culture and Science were also present. State Secretary Heijnen for Infrastructure and Water Management was also present. Besides many ceremonies, there was plenty of time during the state visit, as usual, to promote business relations. These talks took place partly in the presence of the king.
For Dutch companies, the visit represented a golden opportunity; at the same time, the focus on activities originating in Brainport Eindhoven is seen as further proof of the international importance of this region. Discussions focused on the themes of energy transition, sustainable development, life sciences and smart mobility. “There is also a recognition of shared values and cooperation on innovative solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow,” the Dutch government’s information service said in a statement.
On behalf of VDL Groep, Jennifer van der Leegte and Pieter van der Leegte were part of the trade delegation of Dutch companies in Sweden. “Sweden is an important business partner for VDL Groep,” said Jennifer van der Leegte. “During the state visit to Stockholm, we explored in a constructive dialogue how we can further shape and expand our cooperation. In this way, together with Swedish companies, we can further anchor the high-quality manufacturing industry in North West Europe and the employment opportunities that follow. I proposed to organize a Tech Day with the Swedish and Dutch companies present to experience what we can do for each other to find solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow. I am convinced that with our joint innovations, we can make the world a better, smarter and more sustainable place.
2.9 million tonnes of CO2
CEO Benelux Hellen van der Plas of Signify reflects on a “very constructive” visit. “For us, the focus was on the potential savings when replacing traditional lighting with connected LEDs. Ministers from both countries have shown great interest, which is not at all strange when you look at the data. Sweden could save more than €1.2 billion a year in energy costs if LED lighting were installed everywhere. For the Netherlands, it is even nearly two billion. This would save 2.9 million tons of CO2 per year. In these times of fuel poverty, these are very significant sums that we should save immediately. »
NXP led the conversation on European opportunities in chips. Maurice Geraets: “NXP Semiconductors wants to explore how we, as industry and governments, can partner even better to address European technological sovereignty and improve the resilience of European ecosystems, which will benefit all member states.
Reliable value chains
Mikko Vasama, CEO of Philips Nordics, also drew attention to European value chains. “For technologically complex medical devices, it may not be realistic to expect Europe to rely exclusively on EU supply chains for all components and raw materials. Building the resilience and robustness of strategic supply chains is crucial. Diversification and flexibility lead the way, Vasama said. “Ultimately, companies are best placed to manage their own supply chains. Targeted interventions to support the resilience of supply chains for critical goods such as semiconductors should be the exception, not the rule. In this regard, Philips places great importance on business collaborations, such as its partnership with Karolinska University Hospital, “to jointly innovate in healthcare.”
Sustainability was also a topic of discussion for Philips at the CEO table in Stockholm. Vasama: “Health represents more than 4% of global CO2 emissions, more than the aviation or maritime transport sectors! As a sector, we have a responsibility to act. For example, by introducing new innovative business models, working in a carbon neutral way, implementing circular practices and applying our ecodesign principles to our products.