Water Energy Food Nexus: A visit from the UAE and Serbia

Today, the Water Alliance was pleased to welcome Omar Saif, (Senior Economic & Policy Officer for the Dutch embassy in Abu Dhabi) Fleur Hoog Antink (Senior Commercial & Economic Advisor for the Dutch embassy in Abu Dhabi) and Oliver Sarov (Senior Policy Adviser from the Dutch embassy in Serbia).  Accompanied by NWP’s Project Officer Suzanne Tietema, the delegation arrived at the Johannes the Doper Business Centre to get acquainted with the WaterCampus and meet companies that would be, or are already interested in the GCC countries.

Business activity in the Gulf region

Saif’s and Antink’s role at the embassy involve the promotion of Dutch businesses and knowledge institutes, active in the water, energy and food sectors (WEF) by identifying and enabling them to seize business opportunities in the UAE and wider Gulf region. For Water Alliance, this visit is also interesting in the frame of the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, where Water-Energy-Food is a core theme. One of the preparatory events will take place on the WaterCampus in April (Roadshow Water-Energy-Food Nexus). The type of role the Water Alliance will play in the Dubai Expo 2020, has not been determined yet.

Day program

As Saif stated that he also would be interested in learning more about innovations in the Water-Energy-Food nexus and availability of freshwater and desalination / energy efficiency, the day started with a presentation about the WaterCampus and Water Alliance in general and applicable business activity that would be suitable for the Gulf region.

Along came pitches from Water Alliance members, who where interested in the delegation’s visit:

  • Hydraloop – A pitch bij CEO Arthur Valkieser
  • Flovac – A lunch meeting with Flovac founder Willem Gooren
  • Holland Water – A lunch meeting with Peter van der Linden, Director Sales and Marketing
  • LG Sonic – A skype session with CEO Yousef Yousef and CTO Lisa Brand

After the pitches about the company’s involvement and aspiration in the Gulf region, sit-downs and other agreements between the companies and the delegation were planned.

A guided tour to the Water Application Centre (WAC), the Food Application Centre for Technology (FACT) and Wetsus followed. The consortium ended the day with a visit to Afmitech.

Insights into the water market

The difficulties facing GCC member states in securing sustainable water supplies are likely to increase, given the scarcity of natural water resources. Scarcity, combined with minimal rainfall, high evaporation, population growth and an increase in demand are just some of the reasons why the region’s water resources are decreasing. (Read more on https://www.netherlandsworldwide.nl/)

The economic network in the GCC (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates) and Iran has commissioned a report to provide insights into the GCC water market and to identify possible business opportunities for Dutch water technology companies across different economic segments and countries. Please click this link for the report.

Should you have interest in this particular region, please contact us via the details below so we can bring you in touch with our network.

Contact details

Harro Brons, International Business Development Manager via h.brons@wateralliance.nl/ 0031(0)653117624 / 0031(0)582849044