RECAP the Q&A sessions Circular Economy for Dutch representations - 2021

Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH) and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) organized the second edition of the Q&A sessions for embassies.

With the participation of representatives of the Dutch Embassies in Belgium, Nigeria, the UK, and Latin America, the sessions inspired collaborative links and explored the opportunities and challenges of the Netherlands to position and develop a circular economy agenda worldwide.

During the event, RVO, HCH, and NLinBusiness brought in significant insights to continue scoping out circular economy solutions and trends.



"We live in a unique momentum for circular economy, developments are happening in the world. We see awareness at the consumer level, reappreciation of sustainability and especially in the five market segments"

Freek van Eijk, CEO HCH

Join forces to support the circular transition

Van Eijk presented the circular trends of five market sectors where different strategies are implemented to face the challenges of fully developing the circular economy. Likewise, a broader description of HCH’s latest projects and the expanding circular hubs networks was addressed during the sessions. Mohini Keunen, Advisor for Circular Economy of RVO, introduced to the audience the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), which constitutes the world’s largest support network.

Of equal relevance, the moderators stressed the importance of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) competition for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to social problems. On the other hand, NLinBusiness presented the Virtual Gateway, pointing out the opportunities for Dutch Embassies to showcase the Netherlands abroad.

>>Look at HCH’s activities in Spotlight countries.
>>Want to become active? Look at our page Join the Dutch.

Listening to experiences sharing by Dutch Embassies Representatives

Dutch Embassies laid the groundwork for consolidating a circular economy framework, leveraging long-term partnerships to increase cooperation between countries, enhancing networking and matching, serving as a knowledge-sharing platform, and mapping out trade and investment opportunities for Dutch Companies.

Session 1:


Abel Neering, Vice Consul Economic Affairs at the Dutch Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria, talked about how Nigeria and the Netherlands are co-creating solutions.

“A broader awareness of opportunities in circular economy could offer a great sense of entrepreneurship in Lagos.”

He explained the timeline strategy used by the country to achieve results. Starting with market research and a scoping study allowed defining the main work areas, namely, plastics, e-waste, and organic waste. Afterwards, they approached stakeholders and mapped out ongoing initiatives that supported the development of a circular economy ecosystem, thereby implementing a strategic plan whereby all actors worked in synergy. Recently, the Consulate General of The Kingdom of The Netherlands in Lagos launched the Circular Business Platform in Lagos. 


“The transition for a circular economy has a lot of opportunities for SMEs in Belgium that leads to 100.000 new jobs and $ 7.3 million of added value”

Willemijn Brakenhoff, Consul Economic Affairs at the Dutch Embassy in Belgium highlighted how the bilateral trade relationships between the two countries align with the interests of the circular economy. They set up a team from public-private sectors and organized a kick-off meeting to narrow down the priority themes. The resulting strategies consisted of a market study of potential sectors, identifying market opportunities in the building and plastic sectors, and, recently, a trade mission on said sectors.

Session 2

Latin America

“We united forces as embassies, and we offered knowledge about various markets in only one webinar to companies interested in one or more countries.”

Heading to Latin America, Marc Hauwert, Regional Economic Envoy at the Dutch Embassy in Peru, summarized his office’s Regional Business Development framework into a 3-step approach. Eight countries in Latin America worked together on developing the market for waste management solutions. First, the strategy started with market research on local context and commercial opportunities. Secondly, the research results were communicated to Dutch organizations through a webinar. The NL-LATAM Mission on Circular Economy and Waste Management connected them to key local stakeholders.  

United Kingdom

Terence Speyer, Senior Commercial at the Dutch Embassy in the United Kingdom, closed the session by  affirming: 

“It was a great opportunity to work with HCH to get the message across to the British audience to promote the Netherlands as a partner in circular economy and give dutch business information of the policy landscape and top priority sectors for business networks.”

The United Kingdom is committed to moving towards a more circular economy by minimizing waste, promoting resource efficiency and long-lasting resources. It acknowledges that a circular economy can strengthen British-Dutch collaboration in the field. On the spotlight country page for the United Kingdom, you will find information on policy landscape, circular economy strategy, and selected priority areas.

The Virtual Gateway NL

NLinBusiness presented the Virtual Gateway NL, a new way to showcase Dutch projects abroad without having to travel. Through the Virtual Gateway NL, you can show the great solutions the Dutch provide for the world’s challenges and let people experience them in virtual reality.