A new phenomenon is rising in The Netherlands: regional initiatives for promotion and policy specifically focused on the maritime sector. Recently, Rotterdam started the branding campaign ‘Maritime Capital of Europe‘. The city started up a top level Maritime Board for attracting new business from abroad. The Drecht Cities are active under the brand ‘Drecht Cities Maritime Delta‘, and West Holland. Schiedam, a city next to Rotterdam, is starting an initiative and in the North of Holland, the Province of Groningen is gearing up with a new campaign.
Marstrat’s Martin Bloem is specialist in regional maritime partnerships, and was co-founder of the Drecht Cities Campaign. His explanation of the new trend is simple: “International competition is getting stronger and stronger. Not only at company level but also between governments. Maritime companies create jobs and welfare, with a large economic impact. In this context, governments do not want to sit on their hands.”
Typical subjects of regional policy are economic promotion and acquisition, Small and Medium sized Companies (SME) policy, education and technology, and creating a favorable business climate in general. Active politicians with heart for the industry often initiate regional policy. While governments with strong support of industry carry out first investments.
Marstrat is able to set up local or regional maritime initiatives in Europe or beyond. Bloem: “We can take it from a first idea, through campaign set up, to the physical program management. If more regions join, at the end of the day we would create a true, flourishing maritime economy of regions.”