Rotterdam and Houston strengthen economic relationship during digital trade forum


To strengthen the economic collaboration between the various energy hubs and ports, Rotterdam and Houston organised a digital trade forum this week. The theme Energy 2.0 zooms in on energy transition – specifically, the application of hydrogen, CO2 capture and digital technologies in the energy sector. Rotterdam Partners and the Greater Houston Partnership signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Monday, the first day of the digital forum, to strengthen the economic relationship between the two cities. Both organisations support companies with the start-up, expansion and investment in Rotterdam and Houston. The Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, and the Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, were present at the signing ceremony.

Economic overlap

Houston is known as the energy capital of the world. The city has traditionally been an important oil and gas hub. Today, it is increasingly focusing on renewable energy production and technological applications. Rotterdam shares that ambition and energy transition is also high on its agenda. The two cities have more in common: they are both known for their large ports and the geographic role they play as a ‘gateway’ to trade and investment. They are also both cities where innovation and industry come together, where crossovers arise organically and where the sustainable city and economy of the future are being built.

Sustainable relationship

The economic similarities offer the opportunity for more intensive collaboration and exchange of knowledge. Rotterdam Partners and the Greater Houston Partnership signed the agreement to express their support for building a lasting relationship together. Central to this collaboration is the mutual support of American and Dutch companies in exploring business markets or establishing themselves in one of these port cities. Besides the energy market, Houston also offers Dutch companies a strategic location. The city is in the perfect position for doing business not only in the United States but also in the rest of North and South America. There are currently about 50 Dutch companies located in Houston.

“As the Energy Capital of the World, Houston is uniquely positioned to lead the transition to a cleaner, more efficient, and more sustainable lower carbon world,” said Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership. “The region is committed to working with our global partners on tackling this challenge head on and identifying solutions for the future. As a top investor to this region and an established leader in Energy 2.0 activity, the Netherlands is a natural partner for Houston.”

Virtual trade forum Energy 2.0

Rotterdam Partners is committed to promoting international trade. Actively participating in inbound and outbound trade missions is an important part of this. The virtual trade forum Energy 2.0 was organised by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) in close collaboration with Rotterdam Partners, the FME Association, the Netherlands Consulate General in Miami, the Netherlands Business Support Office in Houston, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Municipality of Rotterdam and the City of Houston. During this digital trade forum, online participants learnt more about business opportunities in the energy transition in both Texas and the Netherlands.

The focus was mainly on developments around hydrogen, CO2 capture and digital technologies and the application thereof in the energy sector. Finally, Dutch and American companies had the chance to network with relevant discussion partners during pre-arranged matchmaking sessions.

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Rotterdam Partners: Official Destination Marketing Organization & Investment Promotion Agency

Rotterdam Partners is proud of Rotterdam and is dedicated to moving the city forward. We focus on Rotterdam’s image and promote the Rotterdam region nationally and internationally. We open Rotterdam’s doors to future visitors, companies, residents and students and show them around our city. We enthuse and inspire them. We also convince them to visit, do business, locate their companies and hold their congresses in Rotterdam. And we encourage them to come here to live or study. Rotterdam Partners is consequently responsible for city marketing, acquisition marketing and works to developing a better business climate. This is how we strengthen the Rotterdam economy in the broadest sense of the term.

Greater Houston Partnership
The Greater Houston Partnership works to make Houston one of the best places to live, work and build a business. As the economic development organization for the Houston region, the Partnership champions growth across 12 counties by bringing together business and civic-minded leaders who are dedicated to the area’s long-term success. Representing 1,100 member organizations and approximately one-fifth of the region’s workforce, the Partnership is the place business leaders come together to make an impact. Learn more at

Photo: Guido Pijper

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