Newsletter of the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco 
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Dear reader,
After eight weeks of working from home, I briefly visited the consulate for some business. It was strange to see the empty offices. The consular desk had collected some dust, and the plants needed water. It made me realize again how alien this situation is, and how I miss interacting with colleagues and with all of you in our many meetings, events, and visits. I hope better times are near.
In the meantime, the consulate has been working hard to deliver to you the same services, but online. Our e-Consulate is still open for business. The first series of e-Consulate webinars with renowned Dutch and American speakers last month was joined by thousands of viewers, from all over the US West Coast, but also Australia and Iran.
I am also proud to announce that the first official virtual trade mission of the Netherlands world wide is headed to California. This trade mission will focus on smart and e-mobility and will take place in June. We will continue to connect Dutch companies to partners on the US West Coast through an interactive and innovative digital approach, both from the comfort of their own homes. Climate friendly, effective and bringing new options to partner.
Especially in these times, it’s important that companies continue to invest in their business network and prepare for the next phases.
If you need consular support or economic help, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Stay safe and stay healthy.

Gerbert Kunst
Consul General

First Dutch virtual trade mission, on smart and e-mobility
Together with partner organizations in the Netherlands, the consulate general is organizing the first Dutch virtual trade mission. Companies in the area of smart and sustainable mobility will connect online to potential partners on the US West Coast.

This trade mission, which takes place June 15-19, will bring Dutch companies and organizations virtually to Silicon Valley through interactive online meetings and webinars with experts and high officials. Minister Sigrid Kaag for Foreign Trade and Development and California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis will open the mission in a special livestream on Facebook.

Through thematic break-out session, digital networking meetings, and tailor-made matchmaking with American partners, companies will gain inside knowledge about the US West Coast while expanding and strengthening their international business network at the same time. 

The trade mission is organized by the Netherlands e-Consulate in San Francisco in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the Dutch Embassy in Washington, D.C., and various Dutch cities.

Read more about the mission here. Registration for full participation in the mission has already closed, but you can still join webinars of your choice by sending an e-mail to by June 10. Stay tuned on our social media for updates!
NLinBusiness and Holland in the Valley join forces
Edo Offerhaus of NLinBusiness (right) and Consul General Gerbert Kunst sign the partnership in a video call.
The corona crisis has impacted business around the world. To support Dutch companies in the US during these trying times, Holland in the Valley has partnered with NLinBusiness to strengthen economic ties and ensure that Dutch businesses have access to the best digital services at hand.

The partnership is the first digital business hub open to entrepreneurs, offering services such as matchmaking, mentoring, and virtual trade missions through the e-Consulate of the Netherlands Consulate General in San Francisco. 

“2.5 million Dutch jobs depend on foreign trade. We need to support these international companies now so they can do business successfully again later,” says Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. “This collaboration between NLinBusiness, Holland in the Valley and the Consulate in San Francisco is a good example of how business and government are joining forces in this difficult time.”

Mona Keijzer, State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate, agrees, stating how the new collaboration provides an important boost for companies in the current crisis: “Startups and scale-ups are very important for the future of our economy and our society. They provide tomorrow’s income and jobs and contribute innovative solutions and services to solve global challenges, such as the corona crisis. That is why I am happy with this strengthening of our Holland in the Valley network. Together with NLinBusiness, they help our Dutch growth-heroes to continue doing business despite all the misery, and show the very promising American market what they have to offer.”

As chairman of VNO-NCW, Hans de Boer is also incredibly pleased with the partnership: “At NLinBusiness we work together with many partners in forty promising world cities on public-private partnerships of this kind” says de Boer. “The aim is to always ensure that Dutch entrepreneurs are well-supported onsite and can get a jump-start. I am very grateful to the Holland in the Valley team and the Consul General for all their support and cooperation in Silicon Valley. This will benefit both the Dutch and Americans, with sustainable growth and new jobs. It is great to see how to do this digitally in this unprecedented corona crisis.”
Are you a Dutch business with a question about doing business on the West Coast? Just message us through WhatsApp: +1 415 4201 469.
Internships in the Valley: It’s a match!
Internships in the Valley is proud to present its first match! This Holland in the Valley initiative introduces the brightest students in the Netherlands to innovative companies in the Bay Area. The first candidate to experience the best Silicon Valley has to offer is Kirsten Dekkers. She will put skills acquired at Wageningen University to practice during an internship at the Berkeley-based scale-up Demetrix. And more good news: we’ve also successfully placed students from Groningen University and the University of Amsterdam at the bio startup Base5Genomics! We look forward to starting their visa applications and welcoming these students to the Bay soon!
e-Consulate webinar series continues
In April, the NL e-Consulate San Francisco started its interactive webinar series on a wide array of topics. Sign up for one of the upcoming virtual events, or rewatch the webinar of your choice below!

Upcoming webinars:
  • June 10, 10 AM PST. Anne Frank, A History for Today. Students Become Teachers on the US West Coast. Speakers: students and peer guides; Aaron Peterer (Anne Frank House); Maya Soetoro (University of Hawaii); Gerbert Kunst (Consul General); and more. Register here.
  •  June 30. NL Talks in Phoenix, a Perspective on Dutch Arizonian Trade Opportunities. More information to follow.
  •  June 23. Water in Los Angeles – Explore Opportunities to Set Foot in LA  More information to follow.

More upcoming webinars and info on our eConsulate website.
An overview of our previous webinars:
Goodbye of Honorary Consuls in Denver & Phoenix
Honorary consuls support the consulate in states where we don’t have an office. Unfortunately, the time has come to say goodbye to two of them. They have both done great work and were instrumental in connecting the Netherlands to the US West Coast.
After 28 years, Siebe van der Zee will step down as honorary consul in Phoenix, Arizona. During his time with us, he has seen Phoenix become the fifth largest city in the United States, and with that came many business opportunities for the Netherlands. A businessman himself, Siebe van der Zee knew how to connect Dutch and American entrepreneurs. He was also active in the Dutch community and earlier this year he organized the World Press Photo Exhibition in Phoenix, which was opened by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. He’s retiring and will enjoy time with his family.
In the 1.5 years that Liselore van Thor has been honorary consul in Denver, Colorado, she’s been passionate about connecting Dutch and American businesses. Her inauguration was witnessed by Governor Jared Polis, and she was involved in the Pop-Up Consulate in Denver and the Anne Frank Exhibition. Due to her husband's new job, she and her family are moving to Miami.

We are looking forward to introducing their succesors soon.
Podcast 'Diplomatie Raakt'
What does diplomacy look like during corona times? Consul General Gerbert Kunst sat down with travel journalist Liesbeth Rasker for the podcast ‘Diplomatie Raakt’, to talk about the e-Consulate, travel advisories and the first virtual trade mission. You can find it here (in Dutch).

Consul General Gerbert Kunst also did two Dutch interviews with Het Financieel Dagblad. Read his take on the importance of generating more Dutch unicorns, or find out how to do business in the US.
75 years of freedom
On the 4th of May, the Netherlands hoisted its flags and commemorated the victims of World War II and all the US men and women who helped liberate our country 75 years ago, including Pfc. Henry H. Wade from California. He is one of 10.000 American heroes honored at the American War Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten in the Netherlands. A day later we celebrated Liberation Day. We will never forget the sacrifices made by the USA and other allied forces to free us, and are forever grateful for their service and continued friendship today.

To mark the friendship between the Netherlands and San Francisco, City Hall turned orange on King's Day. Find out more about 75 years of freedom on the website of the Embassy.
Update: COVID measures in the US
Federal, state, and local governments in the US have taken COVID-19 measures that could apply to Dutch businesses active on the West Coast. As some restrictions are lifting and states are slowly beginning to “reopen,” make sure to consult local authorities for the most current and complete details, as measures are changing quickly and regionally.

For an overview of US measures go to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency website, and for more resources and a general overview of the West Coast, consult our previous newsletter.

For the “opening” status of California and for state specific rules and measures, consult the California Government.

For information on general protective measures and the virus itself, go to the CDC page.

Did you know...

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Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco · One Montgomery Street · Suite #3100 · San Francisco, CA 94104 · USA