Dutch firms to virtually descend on SA for SANL Tech Week

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More than 30 Dutch businesses will virtually descend on South Africa later this month for the SA-Netherlands (SANL) Tech Week, to explore synergies in fintech, healthtech and smart logistics.

The Dutch Embassy in SA says it recognises the country’s artificial intelligence and tech vision, which motivated the Netherlands to choose the three tech sectors for the debut of SANL Tech Week, scheduled from 22 to 25 June.

In a statement, the embassy says at the centre Netherlands’s success in innovation and entrepreneurship, is its approach to international collaboration, and it believes the SANL Tech Week will provide a platform to build alliances with local entities.

Dutch ambassador to SA Han Peters believes the SANL Tech Week will “build lasting partnerships to support development” at a time the fourth industrial revolution is taking off in SA, with artificial intelligence, robotics and other technologies holding much potential in the economy.

“The Dutch in South Africa are committed to working together with their local counterparts to contribute to South Africa’s vision for new technologies and efficiencies,” says Sebastiaan Messerschmidt, Dutch consul general in Cape Town.

Further, the embassy says, SA can benefit from the Dutch expertise in the healthcare sector, especially at a time the country is facing healthcare equipment challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Dutch life science and health sector is one of the best in the world, with leading technology in fields such as health informatics, pharmaceuticals, biotech and medical engineering. At the heart of these successes is the Dutch commitment to open innovation and its keen willingness to share knowledge between industry, research and government.

“With the medical device and equipment sector being a priority for South Africa, as well as providing inclusive healthcare, many opportunities exist for collaboration in this sector during SANL Tech Week and beyond.”

Similarly, the embassy says, local fintech players can draw lessons from the Netherlands, which is emerging as the fintech capital of Europe.

“With South Africa being the financial heart of Africa, and Africa being an exciting emerging fintech market, it just makes sense that Dutch and South African counterparts engage and collaborate on innovative fintech solutions and platforms,” reads the statement from the embassy.

South African tech businesses can sign up to the virtual mission platform here.

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