Economic department Embassy Ottawa

The Dutch embassy in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, monitors macroeconomic trends and multilateral trade policies. Current issues include developments affecting NAFTA (the North America Free Trade Agreement) and CETA, the trade agreement between the European Union and Canada, as well as recent developments in relation to import duties on steel and aluminium and the consequences for the Netherlands.

Ottawa skyline panorama

Skyline Ottawa

Our economic core tasks

Our core tasks in trade promotion in the broad sense are to provide the Dutch business community with customised economic information and find suitable Canadian business partners by carrying out business partner scans. Following and reporting on trends in Canada on issues including sustainability, innovation, science and technology and economic development is a top priority.

Every year, in consultation with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the mission network in Canada makes specific agreements on economic diplomacy, Holland Branding, further action to promote promising sectors and opportunities to network on economic themes, in particular for the Dutch top sectors in Canada. The embassy is also directly involved in promoting bilateral cooperation and setting up and participating in partnerships for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Our focus points

We help to create and maintain networks between Dutch and Canadian businesses, government authorities and knowledge institutions, both directly and indirectly.

In Canada, there is considerable interest in the Dutch high tech sector’s knowledge of and expertise in quantum computing (QC), artificial intelligence (AI), nanotechnology and big data. The embassy is also active in fields that support and promote sustainability, like renewables, smart mobility, agri-food, the circular economy, cybersecurity and aerospace.

High tech industry and scientific research

To keep track of developments in the high tech industry and in scientific research, we maintain close contact with Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NRC). Promoting high-quality research partnerships and technological innovation equips the two countries better to overcome economic and social challenges while contributing to their future economic development.

Overeenkomst tussen instituten

In early 2018, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and Statistics Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation and use of big data in measuring progress made by provinces and cities towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Cooperation between the two agencies also creates economic prospects, with the use of big data for cleaner and smarter cities, transport, energy use and medical institutions.

Country Task Force Strategy

In early 2018, the Dutch country strategy task force put Canada on its list of priority countries, designating it one of four pilot countries. In the next few years, the embassy in Ottawa and the Canadian mission network will play a crucial role in optimising cooperation in the field of higher education. The Netherlands and Canada regard knowledge sharing, international research and cooperation in a wide number of fields as essential to retaining a strong competitive position in a rapidly changing global economic context. King Willem-Alexander’s successful state visit to Canada in 2015 marked the first step towards closer cooperation between Dutch and Canadian universities. The two countries share the ambition of becoming international frontrunners in the field of science and innovation.

Smart Mobility voor Smart Cities

Smart mobility and transport

We work closely with Dutch partners like Connekt, AutomotiveNL and Brainport Eindhoven to promote contacts and initiatives in the field of smart mobility and transport, in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in particular. Since the successful ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) World Congress in Montreal in the autumn of 2017, with more than 30 participants from the Netherlands, bilateral contacts between Canada and the Netherlands have intensified, and Dutch technological know-how and innovation now offer prospects for meeting Canada’s smart mobility and transport challenges.

Urban Farming in Canada

Economic Legacy and Agri-food

During the May tulip festival in Ottawa, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors every year, we work with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the National Capital Commission to foster economic ties by promoting specific themes and Dutch know-how in the field of agri-food. In 2018, we organised networking activities on urban farming and greenhouse technology.

Read here more about our economic theme Agri & Food and Horticulture.

Circular economy

On the initiative of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and Netherlands' Economic network in Canada, a Canadian delegation took part in Holland Circular Economy Week in June 2018. Sustainability and the transition from a linear to a circular economy are gaining increasing momentum in Canada. Several joint activities are planned in 2018 and 2019 involving Holland Circular Hotspot and Canada. There is considerable interest in Canada in developing and setting up a similar hotspot. Biogas, bioenergy and green chemistry are themes that offer good prospects for cooperation between Canada and the Netherlands. As of 2016, the embassy has taken part in the annual bioenergy Scaling up Conference in Ottawa and is now consulting with Dutch partners on a broader commitment.

Read here more about our economic theme Clean & Affordable Energy.

From a linear to a circular economy

From a linear to a circular economy

Cybersecurity, maritime technology and aerospace

From 2016, the Embassy in Ottawa and a delegation representing the Dutch defence and security industry have taken part in the CANSEC trade show, which is held every May in Ottawa. There is considerable interest in Canada in Dutch innovative knowledge and expertise in the field of cybersecurity, maritime technology and aerospace.

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada

Active in less densely populated areas

We are also active in the less densely populated provinces of East Canada, often referred to as Atlantic Canada. In 2017 and 2018 four delegations from Atlantic Canada visited the Netherlands to learn about best practices in the fields of horticulture, smart grids, the fishing industry and renewables. With the entry into force of CETA and the threat of Brexit, these provinces are looking for new markets and opportunities within the EU. They regard the Netherlands as a major economic partner.


To give entrepreneurs and knowledge institutions the best possible support and assistance, we work closely with the other missions and experts within the Netherlands’ economic network in Canada. They include the Consulate-General in Toronto, the Consulate-Generaal in Vancouver, NFIA North America and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (

We also work with the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education (Nuffic) and with various government ministries in the Netherlands and Canada.


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