This month we were honored to host Deputy Ambassador Heleen Bakker and Counselor for Infrastructure and Water Management Bart de Jong. The Offshore Technology Conference prompted their visit, and Deputy Ambassador Bakker spoke at many events about the Netherlands’ role in energy and water.
After touring the showroom floor with Sander Vergroessen, president of the IRO and Jos Wellink, our Honorary Consul, she spoke at the annual Dutch Reception at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston to welcome everyone to the intense four days of OTC. The following morning, she rushed to two breakfast meetings where she spoke about the future of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an energy source in Northwestern Europe and business opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico. And finally, she attended a meeting with Houston Astros President Reid Ryan (organized by Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership) to hear a presentation about the Astros winning the World Series; the Netherlands has a program called Baseball means Business that bolsters the ties between countries where baseball is a popular sport and promotes the international business network.
Bart de Jong attended many meetings to speak about potential projects and partnerships. Among those were talks with Accelerate H2O about how the Dutch can help Houston with water management and the Greater Houston Partnership about Dutch Dialogues.
Our chief Representative Saskia Pardaans guided them through Houston and went along with them to all their meetings. Their presence was a sign of current and future cooperation between Texas and The Netherlands and how both regions can benefit and learn from each other.