NL Trade Mission to Belgium – Circular Infrastructure and Construction
June 28, 2022
On 19th and 20th May 2022, the two-day trade mission ‘Sustainable Infrastructure & Circular Construction’ in Antwerp, Belgium, brought together almost 80 Dutch participants. This high-level mission was led by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Liesje Schreinemacher, the Flemish Minister Zuhal Demir and the Dutch State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, Vivianne Heijnen.
Our director Freek van Eijk from Holland Circular Hotspot, moderated the Circular Buildings and Infrastructure session, signed a partnership agreement with the Global Sustainable Enterprise System (GSES System) and introduced our new brochure ‘Circular Buildings: constructing a sustainable future.
"Belgium is our second largest trading partner worldwide. Belgium and the Netherlands have been at the forefront of economic innovations in Europe for 400 years, we also want to lead the way together in the field of the circular economy"Minister Liesje Schreinemacher - Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
Cross-border cooperation between the NL and BE in the construction chain
Dutch companies, entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions (including TNO and Vito), cities (including Amsterdam, Mechelen and Leuven) and sector organizations (including Bouwend Nederland, Flemish Construction Confederation) from the Netherlands and Belgium exchanged experiences with each other. The collaboration focused on the future of the construction sector; Belgium is an ideal country for Dutch entrepreneurs who want to take their first steps across the border.
“To achieve circularity by 2050, we will have to collaborate much more intensively in Europe and share knowledge and experiences. As governments, we can give a boost with circular procurement and thus accelerate the transition to a circular economy” State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen affirmed. In context, smart public-private investment in infrastructure between Netherlands and Belgium in the next decade is jointly estimated at 130 billion euros per year.
During the mission, topics such as cross-border cooperation in the construction chain, circular business models scaling up, circular and biobased materials in roads, bridges and buildings were discussed. Dutch companies have a lot of expertise in the field of biobased solutions, something that is needed in Belgium, such as bio-asphalt, bio-cement, and even biobased signage.
The Dutch participants visited several companies in Brussels and Antwerp, including Het Facilitair Bedrijf, the most important client for Flemish government buildings. They also visited Lantis -the pivot company executing the very large-scale Oosterweel works in Antwerp.
GSES partners with HCH
Holland Circular Hotspot and Global Sustainable Enterprise System (GSES System) signed a cooperation agreement on May 19th in the presence of Minister Liesje Schreinemacher during the trade mission in Belgium.
The strategic partnership will further develop and intensify the circular approach by using transparency metrics (Data for Good) and certification for CE (GESES System) within a wide range of sectors such as construction, financial services and manufacturing.
Handover 'Circular Buildings: constructing a sustainable future' brochure
A symbolic handover to the Dutch Minister Liesje Schreinemacher of the upcoming brochure on ‘Circular Buildings: constructing a sustainable future.’