Netherlands announces agenda to align development, economic, climate ministries on innovation, trade

In a letter to the cabinet, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Micky Adriaansens outlined new plans for their ministries to link trade, innovation, and investment policy. 

The ministers stated that Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have highlighted the Dutch economy's dependency on exogenous events. They also recognized that the focus on increased sustainability and digitization will affect future trade flows. A new integrated and interdepartmental approach is expected to improve national economic resilience and security, as well as international corporate social responsibility.

The letter outlined that the two ministries will intensify and expand existing efforts to improve the green and digital transition of Dutch businesses to promote international corporate social responsibility (ICRSR) legislation and reduce strategic dependencies. Beyond aligning the two ministries, the ministers committed to working with other ministries and governments, business and knowledge institutions, and sector organizations to realize these plans. The ministers committed to producing a series of upcoming policy letters that will elaborate on the new joint approach.

The new joint agenda was developed in response to an accepted motion from November 25, 2021, in which cabinet members from various political parties called on the two ministries to follow Germany, France, and Sweden as examples of knowledge economies that have explicitly linked innovation and trade.

Letter – Dutch government (in Dutch)

Motion – Dutch government (in Dutch)