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Amsterdam trade mission visits Korea and China

From 21 to 28 September 2013, mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan will head a trade mission to South Korea and China, where the delegation will visit Korean and Chinese companies with branches in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. A seminar will also be organised during the trade mission aimed at attracting more companies to the region. In Korea, the cities of Seoul and Amsterdam will sign a new collaborative agreement, while in Beijing, Mayor Van der Laan will visit events including Beijing Design Week (where Amsterdam is this year’s ‘guest city’). Beijing and Seoul became twin cities with Amsterdam in 1985 and 1999 respectively. Representatives of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area regularly visit the cities in order to help maintain the strong relationship and attract new business.

This is the first trade mission to Korea headed by the Mayor of Amsterdam. In Seoul, Van der Laan will meet with his Korean counterpart Park Won-soon to sign a new collaborative agreement. The agreement covers a range of significant themes including electric transport, water, cycling and e-Governance. Approximately 50 Korean companies currently have offices in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and the region attracts about 5 new Korean companies every year. As part of the trade mission, the Amsterdam delegation will be organising a seminar in which they will invite companies to set up shop in the region.

The VU University Amsterdam will also be working alongside Dutch and Korean partners to organise the ‘Study and Work in Amsterdam’ seminar, aimed at encouraging students to study in the region. The Amsterdam delegation travelling to Seoul comprises organisations including the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce, the NFIA, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, AKD, AON, Cisco, Deloitte, ING, Drive Ugo, KIA Motors, The Student Hotel and the VU University Amsterdam.

The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is currently home to approximately 80 Chinese companies and the Chinese ICT sector is expressing growing interest in the region. As such, the City of Amsterdam is collaborating with the VU University Amsterdam to organise the ‘ICT Smart City’ seminar, aimed directly at Chinese ICT companies looking to establish offices in Europe. The University of Amsterdam is also working closely with Beijing’s Tsinghua University to set up a joint research centre.

‘Design Goes Dutch’ during the Beijing Design Week
Taking over the reins from Milan and London, Amsterdam has been selected as ‘guest city’ for this year’s Beijing Design Week, held from 26 September to 3 October. In 2012, this annual design event attracted 5,000,000 visitors. Amsterdam’s role as ‘guest city’ means that a grand stage will be offered to Dutch creatives and organisations including Marcel Wanders, Florentijn Hofman, Alexander van Slobbe, the Stedelijk Museum, the Sandberg Institute, the New Institute, SALON, Benthem Crouwel Architects and VenhoevenCS. Amsterdam will present a varied programme featuring a range of exhibitions and workshops at eight locations in Beijing, linked by their adopted theme of ‘Design Goes Dutch’.