German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Eindhoven on April 21. She goes to ASML and High Tech Campus. The visit is part of a broader consultation between delegations of the German and Dutch governments. The two foreign ministers visit the Design Academy Eindhoven. The economic ministers are guests at Philips and the State Secretaries of Education, Culture and Science make inquiries at Solliance Solar Research.
The High Tech Campus welcomes the visit. With a special message, the Chancellor has received a heartfelt welcome:
Welcome to the smartest square kilometer of the world. Welcome to the place where open innovation is no intention but daily practice. Where 145 companies with over 10,000 employees from 85 countries show that collaboration is the key to success. And where we have changed the traditional customer-supplier relationship in a value chain in which small and large play an equal role in both research & development and production.
The consultation aims to further strengthen cooperation. Following the government consultations in 2013 in the German border town of Kleve, this is the second time that the governments of the Netherlands and Germany come together on this level.
For high-tech region Brainport Region Eindhoven, the visit by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Mark Rutte can be seen as an acknowledgement of its economic position. Mayor of Eindhoven, Rob van Gijzel, also chaiman of Brainport, sees the invitation by the Dutch government to Chancellor Merkel, to come to Eindhoven, as an acknowledgement of the economic position Brainport has in the Netherlands: “We, as Brainport Region, are the most innovative region within the Netherlands. Our region’s profile, high-tech, knowledge and manufacturing industries and design is a perfect match with that of Germany, as world leader in the field of equipment construction and engineering. There is hardly a company in our region which doesn’t have a German partner. ASML, for example, which the Chancellor will visit, has many high-end suppliers in Germany. In particular, it works very closely with the lens manufacturer Zeiss.”
Besides Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the consultations will be held by Minister for Foreign Affairs Koenders, Minister of Economic Affairs Kamp and State Secretary Dekker of Education, Culture and Science. On the German side Chancellor Merkel will be accompanied by Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economic Affairs Gabriel, Foreign Affairs Minister Steinmeier, Minister for Special Assignments Altmaier and State Secretary Schütte of Education and Research.
Netherlands and Germany have as neighbors traditionally strong links, politically, culturally as well as economically. Germany is the main trade partner of the Netherlands. The annual trade volume between the two countries is among the largest in the world. In 2015, bilateral trade amounted to over 168 billion euros. The Netherlands is the largest investor in Germany. Germany takes sixth place in investors in the Netherlands.
The government consultation will focus on innovation. Both the Netherlands and Germany are among the most innovative economies in Europe. In both countries businesses, knowledge institutions and government cooperate intensively on innovative solutions. This collaboration is cross-border and Netherlands and Germany draw in close collaboration with each other.
A good example of this cross-border cooperation between the Netherlands and Germany is ASML, which works closely with the German manufacturer Zeiss lenses. ASML is one of the world leading producers of lithography machines used for the production of microchips. For Prime Minister Rutte and Chancellor Merkel, the program begins with a visit to this company in Veldhoven.
Following the visits, the ministers meet together at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, where they are received by Mayor Van Gijzel. The government delegations will start bilateral talks there. After this talk Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Chancellor Merkel and the other Dutch and German ministers will join each other at a joint working dinner.
Prior to the program in Eindhoven Chancellor Merkel will be present in Middelburg where she receives the International Four Freedoms Award.