Last week, a column of 25 Dutch firms reportedly visited South Africa as part of the Dutch trade mission to the continent to explore business opportunities in the sectors of cybersecurity, digital health, and agricultural innovation.
Meetings were held in the cities of Western Cape, Limpopo, and Gauteng, where partnerships and deals took place. Several one-on-one business meetings between Netherlands-based companies and their South African counterparts were also conducted.
Han Peters, Netherlands Ambassador to South Africa, stated that trade missions are very effective in generating business contracts as well as contacts. The cybersecurity, healthcare, and agriculture sectors have a lot of growth potential.
Peters added that the trade mission witnessed over 10 one-on-one business meetings in a single week.
Strong economic ties between the Netherlands and South Africa are beneficial for the South African society and economy as foreign direct investment (FDI) plays a major part in job creation, and the Netherlands is the second-largest source of FDI in South Africa.
As per data from SARS, the Netherlands is also the seventh-largest trading partner of South Africa, with the total value of exports and imports between the two reaching R85 billion ($6 billion) in 2021.
Jessica Immelman, Environmental & Business Strategist, Space4Good, stated that there is immense knowledge in the field of earth observation technology for agriculture in both Netherlands and South Africa, and together the two can examine how to optimally apply the knowledge in fighting drought and climate change.
Meanwhile, a number of major opportunities and business leads were also developed in the healthcare market.
Amanda Touw, Marketing, Communication & Business Development, Spectator Healthcare Technology, stated that the firm inked new contacts and accelerated opportunities for the implementation of TeleHealth technology in both public and private sectors.
Spectator Health offers digital healthcare solutions for managing and monitoring patients and making intelligent care decisions.
Bas Schellevis, Chief Operating Officer, Nedscaper, stated that with the trade mission, the cybersecurity firm was able to develop new business leads and also recognized opportunities for building digital skills that are essential for South Africa as well as for global cybersecurity defense.