Mayor Jim Watson is leading a delegation of 20 Ottawa business and tourism leaders to the Netherlands. This five-day mission will strengthen our business and tourism relations, and build on the strong bonds of cooperation and friendship that Ottawa has shared with the Netherlands since the Second World War.

Day 3 (September 17, 2019) – The Hague & Eindhoven

As the mission continued in The Hague and Eindhoven, several important partnership agreements were signed to help strengthen our business and tourism connections.

The Hague to Ottawa (H2O) agreement is an MOU between the destination marketing organizations (DMOs) in the two cities to promote one another as destinations of choice, in order to attract new international conventions and business events. Ottawa Tourism and The Hague Convention Bureau will collaborate to open new doors for both capitals, pitching each other as gateway cities to North America and Europe. The business events industry in Canada generates $33 billion annually in direct spending and employs over 229,000 Canadians. In 2018, 16 per cent of events held in Ottawa came from the US or overseas markets, representing 9,700 delegates and 16,000 room nights contributing to Ottawa’s economy.

Ottawa Tourism is hoping to leverage the partnership to help attract up to four large meetings and conventions over the coming years, with the sectors of technology, security, defence and life sciences being particularly promising. They also hope to generate new leisure travel itineraries with tour operators, and positive media coverage in the Dutch market throughout the mission.

Group photo from the signing.

Invest Ottawa and The Hague Security Delta renewed an agreement to promote bilateral trade and investment, as part of their respective soft-landing for program for start-ups wishing to establish themselves in the partner market. The Hague Security Delta is one of the largest and continuously growing security networks of businesses, governments and knowledge institutes in Europe. With nearly 300 partners, it is recognized as the security port to Europe. This agreement ensures that Ottawa is connected with the European leaders in security and will result in knowledge sharing, promotion and partnership opportunities for Ottawa’s security sector firms, which are always seeking new opportunities to grow abroad.

Group photo from the signing.

The City of Ottawa, the University of Ottawa and Fontys University of Applied Sciences announced a partnership that will promote academic, economic and research mobility between Ottawa and the Netherlands. As one of the largest universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands, Fontys offers more than 200 academic programs in economics, technology, health care, social work, sports and teacher training to over 44,000 students. This agreement will establish research placements that will support the development of Ottawa’s Nightlife Economy Strategy, with Dutch students finding work placements at the City of Ottawa to conduct research and provide an external perspective on how to grow Ottawa’s nighttime economy, including the musical and cultural spaces that make our city an attractive place for young professionals.

Group photo from the signing, including students.

Many delegates then headed to Brainport, an innovation and business acceleration district in Eindhoven. Brainport – a technology and innovation hub similar to Kanata North in Ottawa – is a driver of Dutch exports and houses half of the national auto sector. This cluster presents opportunities for Ottawa to grow its relationship with companies operating in the Autonomous Vehicles space in the Netherlands by leveraging our Ottawa L5 AV cluster and test-track.