In July 2016, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands hosted a maritime seminar titled ‘Technology & Trends in the Maritime Sector: Prospects for enhancing Thai-Dutch Cooperation’ in the Conrad Hotel in Bangkok.The interest in the event was overwhelming and attended by over a 100 top representatives and officials from maritime companies and institutes of both countries. On the Dutch side the participants were i.a. large shipbuilding companies such as Damen Shipyards, Royal IHC and Thales, but also a number of smaller but highly innovative companies, such as Radio Holland and VSTEP. On the Thai side i.a. the Thai Ship Building and Repairing Association and its individual members, the Port Authority of Thailand and the Marine Department were represented.Ambassador Karel Hartogh, opened the seminar together with the Director-General of the Port Authority of Thailand, Lt. Sutthinan Hatthawong, and the Deputy Director-General of the Marine Department, Ms. Jiraporn Jantarasiri, representing the Deputy Minister of Transport at the seminar.
After the opening speeches, Dutch maritime branch association ‘Netherlands Maritime Technology’ (Ms. Marjan Lacet) updated the participants on developments within the Dutch maritime sector, after which the Dutch maritime research institute MARIN shared its findings on the latest technological developments and innovations in the Netherlands. This was followed by the introduction of the participating Dutch companies to the public.Last but not least, the Thai Shipbuilding and Repairing Association gave an overview of the latest developments in the Thai shipbuilding and repairing industry and gave insight into the work and latest innovations of a number of Thai shipyards, such as Unithai, Marsun and ItalThai Marine and gave its views on the prospects for enhancing Thai-Dutch cooperation in the sector.
The seminar is seen as a first step within a broader agenda to encourage bilateral and business relations in the maritime sector. The seminar is to be followed up by a broader maritime trade mission in the spring of 2017, to be organized by the Netherlands branch association ‘Netherlands Maritime Technology’ and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Thailand. During the expected maritime mission, a group of Dutch companies will visit Thailand for business to business matchmaking sessions, site visits to a number of Thai shipyards and bilateral networking events.