Business as usual at this year's Singapore International Water Week (SIWW)? Not quite. Despite some Covid restrictions, the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) still managed to organise a lively event in Singapore. The Netherlands Pavilion was packed with Dutch water expertise, and the interactions were fruitful. This proved again that live events have an added value when doing business abroad.
In the run-up to SIWW 2022, NWP had worked intensively with Dutch and Singaporean partners to set up a comprehensive programme, an extra bonus next to the Netherlands Pavilion. One of the results was the well-attended Singapore & Netherlands Innovation Forum co-organised with the Dutch Embassy in Singapore and the Singapore Water Association.
Our participation in the Netherlands Pavilion has enabled us to take relevant steps towards Asia
Chief Executive Officer at Acquaint
The Singapore & Netherlands Innovation Forum was attended by over 80 participants from government agencies, industry and research institutes, and was followed by a lively B2B matchmaking session at the Netherlands Pavilion.
The Forum featured a panel discussion moderated by Johan Verlinde, Programme Manager at the Municipality of Rotterdam. He led the discussion on water management, coastal resilience and collaboration with esteemed panellists Ms Michèle Blom, Vice Minister, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management; Ms Annemieke Nijhof, CEO of Deltares; Mr Chua Soon Guan, Deputy Chief Executive (Policy & Development) of PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency; and Prof. Koh Lian Pin, Director of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions.
“The word 'action' came up frequently during the panel discussion. It shows that the urgency to act is particularly great, as the recent IPCC report shows. It is very important to work together at all levels. Policy makers, scientists and the market all have a role to play in this. Climate change requires robust innovative solutions to keep our cities liveable, biodiverse and safe,” says Verlinde.
The panel discussion showed that Singapore and the Netherlands have strong relations and share a special bond with water. The countries collaborate on many levels, from policy exchange to research and development, recognising that global challenges need bold solutions.
At SIWW 2022, it became clear again that NWP is a strong network of internationally oriented Dutch water organisations. As Marieke Leenhouts, NWP Project Manager states, "At the Netherlands Pavilion, we showcased the latest state of the art technology and facilitated the sharing of the Netherlands’ knowledge and expertise. We were thankful to be back in Singapore because it was an important milestone in the longstanding relationship between the Singaporean and Dutch Governments. Even in the last couple of years with limited travel, we have been able to connect the Singapore and Dutch water sectors, online as well as collaborating at live events such as the World Expo in Dubai."
She continues, "we were proud to host so many Dutch water organisations and to welcome high-level visitors in the Netherlands Pavilion. Both Mrs Grace Fu, Singapore’s Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, and Mr Desmond Tan, Singapore’s Minister of State of the Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, visited the Pavilion. The Dutch Vice Minister Michèle Blom of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management was also present at the Pavilion."
SIWW 2022 has been a success for us since it gave us the opportunity to network and learn about the Asian market
Tje Wei Hu
Business Development Manager at C-cube International B.V.
Country pavilions all have the same objective: create leads for their participants through interaction with visitors, exhibitors or country representatives. The longstanding relationship between the Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water) and NWP led to the participation of Delta Marine Consultants and Deltares in the K-water-Netherlands seminar on water management entitled 'Major Strategies and Implementation for Water Management in addressing Climate Change in Korea and the Netherlands'.
NWP's efforts at SIWW were supported by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) through its Strategic Exhibition Programme. NWP and its partners PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Singapore, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Singapore Water Association, facilitated a Netherlands Pavilion that promoted relevant knowledge exchange and networking activities.
As Leenhouts says, "this year’s highly successful Netherlands Pavilion is largely thanks to our partners. It was great to meet them live again and to see it all come together at the SIWW 2022!"