Welcome to the Haagse Brug edition no. 2, First quarter 2021. We are delighted to share with you our past programs and activities throughout the first quarter of 2021 and we are planning for more in the next quarter, depending on the COVID situation in the Netherlands. We hope for the continuous wellbeing of Malaysian diaspora in the Netherlands and we also hope that you can continue to follow the measures set by the Dutch Government. Enjoy reading the Haagse Brug!
Dr. Mohd Norhisyam Mohd Yusof
Chargé d’affaires a.i.
The Embassy took part in the Working Group meeting of the ASEAN Committee in The Hague (ACTH) 04th February 2021. Among issues discussed were the proposed Webinar on The Netherlands’ accession to the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) as well as handover of the new ACTH Chairmanship. CDA a.i. has been requested to moderate the webinar.
The Embassy has joined the Webinar on the Netherlands’ Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Corporation in Southeast Asia on 18th February 2021. The webinar was graced by H.E. Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands and was attended by more than 500 participants comprised of Government Officials, Diplomats, representatives of NGO’s, academics and students. The session was moderated by Charge d’Affaires a.i of Malaysia.
Charge d’Affaires a.i received Major (R) Shariff and Mr. Musaddik from MSH Instrument Environmental & Tech Sdn. Bhd. The company was on a business trip to purchase submarines from U-Boat Worx based in Breda for the purpose of marine research and tourism. They also met with our MATRADE and Tourism officers. The Embassy will always be committed to assist both Malaysian and Dutch companies in our efforts to increase bilateral trade and investments
The Article XI Informal Consultation was conducted via Microsoft Teams
on 25 February 2021 and chaired by the Article XI Facilitator, Mr. Junaid Sadiq of Pakistan. During the consultation, Ms. F.H. Shifa Kusumaningrum, First Secretary of the Permanent Representation of Malaysia to the OPCW, as the Interim Facilitator of the Article XI, briefed on the outcome of the Fifth Article XI Workshop convened on 2 November 2020, which entails a factual report with annexes listing ideas, lessons and suggestions drawn from the presentations, statements and views expressed during the workshop. This report and its annexes have no status and were not agreedupon by States Parties.
The OPCW Technical Secretariat shared information related to the international cooperation programmes and presented a tentative work plan for 2021. Proposed administrative arrangement for the Sixth Article XI Workshop to be held in November 2022 was also discussed. Recalling the decision on establishing a Drafting Committee for reviewing the List of Ideas that emerged from the Article XI workshops by the Informal Consultation dated 1 October 2019, the Article XI Facilitator shared progress on the establishment of the Committee and urged regional groups which have not yet done so to nominate their representatives to the Committee.
The OPCW EC-96 was held on 9 – 12 March 2021 under strict conditions with only the 41-member allowed to attend the session at the Ieper Hall, OPCW Headquarters. The Malaysian delegation was attended by Dr. Mohd Norhisyam Mohd Yusof, Chargé d’affaires a.i. and Ms. F.H. Shifa Kusumaningrum, First Secretary (Political) who observed the session remotely. During the Session, Malaysia was nominated as the Co-Facilitator of the Drafting Committee of Article XI during the EC-96 in March 2021. The nomination of Ms. F.H. Shifa Kusumaningrum, First Secretary (Political) was unanimously approved the council’s member. Malaysia is currently an Observer of the EC session, after having served the EC four times (2004-2006, 2007-2009, 2011-2013 and 2014-2016). More details on the proceedings can be found on this link https://www.opcw.org/ec-96.
The Article XI Drafting Committee (AXIDC) held its first meeting on 31 March 2021 via Microsoft Teams platform. The meeting was chaired by Ms F.H. Shifa Kusumaningrum of the Permanent Representation of Malaysia to the OPCW, the Co-Facilitator for the Drafting Committee.
The first meeting of the AXIDC was aimed to arrange organisational matters related to the Drafting Committee, to take stock of the current understanding of the Article XI issues/ implementation status and to gather ideas from the members of the committee on how to proceed with the mandated task.
The regional representations of the AXIDC are as follows:
Having acknowledged all suggestions and recommendations, the Co-Facilitator reiterated the AXIDC will focus on streamlining the List of Ideas that emerged from Article IX workshops in order to be presented to the Article XI facilitation process for further evaluation on the way forward. The next meeting is scheduled to be held on 31 May 2021.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions placed by the Dutch government, the OPCW CSP-25 was convened in two parts at the World Forum, The Hague. The first part was held on 30 November – 1 December 2021 and the second part was held on 20 – 22 April 2021. The Malaysian delegation was led by Dr. Mohd Norhisyam Mohd Yusof, Chargé d’affaires a.i. and assisted by Ms. F.H. Shifa Kusumaningrum, First Secretary (Political).
The CSP-25 (Part II) adopted a landmark decision to suspend certain rights and privileges of the Syrian Arab Republic under the Convention. Malaysia has abstained from voting. More details on the proceedings can be found on this link https://www.opcw.org/resources/documents/conference-states-parties/twenty-fifth-session-conference-states-parties.
On Saturday 06.03.2021, Charge d’Affaires a.i and Second Secretary (Consular) had a chance to meet and assist Mr. Nageswaran and Mrs Imala, where their entry/transit to Europe via Schiphol Airport were refused. The couple was en route to Luxembourg to visit their son who was involved in unfortunate horse riding accident. Their transit was finally granted and manage to get the flight on Sunday, 07.03.2021.
MATRADE will once again organize iconic International Sourcing Programme (INSP) in conjunction with the upcoming 17th edition of the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2021. In view of COVID-19 health safety concern, current digitalization trend and to provide ample business opportunities for Malaysian Halal products and services providers, INSP MIHAS 2021 will be held fully virtual for 5 months from 1st April to 1st September 2021, in tandem with the month of September when MIHAS 2021 will be held.
The first ever virtual INSP MIHAS 2021 will involves pre-arranged, one-to-one Business Meeting slots between Malaysian exporters and foreign buyers. MATRADE Kuala Lumpur and our 46 overseas offices worldwide will be selecting genuine importers globally to be matched with our Malaysian exporters for B2B meetings for the 5-months INSP MIHAS 2021. MATRADE projected around 400 international buyers will be matched with our Malaysian Halal exporters virtually.
The longer duration and virtual meeting arrangements represent the new normal during this challenging period as well as allowing bigger number of international buyers to participate and meet potential Malaysian Halal producers and suppliers from 7 sectors namely Food & Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Islamic Finance, Logistics, Modest Fashion, Cosmetics, and Franchising.
MATRADE Netherlands is strengthening the efforts to promote the INSP MIHAS 2021 in getting more buyers to participate in the programme. A total of 4 business meetings have been secured between foreign buyers (from the Netherlands, and Belgium) and Malaysian companies, which will take place in April 2021.
In the new norm, digitalisation plays an important role, especially in reaching out to foreign buyers as well as enhance trading with other nations. With travel restrictions still ongoing, a key part of MATRADE’s efforts is to ensure businesses are connected through an online platform.
In January – March 2021, MATRADE Rotterdam has organized about 4 business online business meetings for Malaysian companies to meet foreign buyers via virtual platform.
Among products sourced are gloves (medical, latex & nitrile gloves), processed food, furniture, sauces, and processed palm oil.
MATRADE Netherlands also responding to trade enquiries and provide necessary assistance for both Malaysian companies and foreign buyers. We have responded to 43 trade enquiries covering products such as drinks, food products, premium baby products, healthcare products, and machinery & equipment.
(*no e-biz match pictures can be published due to EUGDPR data protection)
One of MATRADE’s roles is to disseminate timely and relevant information as well as market intelligence to give Malaysian exporters the competitive edge in international trade.
Being on the ground, MATRADE Rotterdam provides market updates and information, trade leads and other relevant information in a timely manner that could be easily accessed by Malaysian exporters from MyExport Portal @MATRADE.
From January to March, MATRADE Rotterdam has prepared 7 Market Alerts, and 1 Product Market Studies covering market updates, trade leads and potential export products in few selected countries in the Europe.
The Agriculture Counsellor Office (ACO) has been undertaking continuous engagements with relevant stakeholders including Embassy of Malaysia across the Europe to discuss latest development on agriculture policy, facilitating trade on agriculture sector including providing feedback on agriculture matters and market overview. Focus includes strengthening market for agriculture products, venturing new market and exploring possible cooperation between Malaysia and Europe (including Netherlands), United Kingdom & Russia.
Some of the engagements undertaken with stakeholders were as following:
The ACO has also provided feedback related to the agriculture sector to Embassy of Malaysia Finland. The feedback comprises of overview of trade between Malaysia & Netherlands and Malaysia & EU, promotion programs, cooperation in agriculture, successes, challenges and way forward.
The office is also currently involved in the Malaysian-Russian Working Group on Cooperation in Industry and Trade specifically under Expert Consultation of Cooperation in Food Safety. First Meeting was held on 23 April 2021 and some of the issues to be discussed by both parties include issues related to sanitary and phytosanitary, market access of fish and fishery products as well as the electronic certification systems. The next expert consultation session will be held in May 2021.
From 21 April 2021, the requirements applicable to the entry of composite products into the EU will depend on the characteristics of the composite products as following categories:
In general, the new measure will involve additional steps by exporters from Malaysia to the EU. At the moment, establishments exporting to the EU must be registered in Trade Control and Expert Systems (TRACES). After implementation of these measures, the third country manufacturing the composite product must either have an approved residue-monitoring plan for each of the ingredients of animal origin in question or source the animal ingredients either from EU Member State or a third country, which is approved by the EU.
Series of consultations have taken place with Embassy of Malaysia in Brussels, relevant Divisions and Agencies under Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries Malaysia (MAFI), Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia (MITI) and Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH). The ACO has assisted in submitting questions by competent authorities and industries in Malaysia to facilitate the implementation of this new policy.
This is a private initiative by KF Farm, based in Johor, Malaysia together with Verbos & Kenlog in Netherlands as well as other Dutch companies namely Luiten Greenhouse (greenhouse technology) and Rijk Zwaan (seed supply). The objectives of the proposed Dutch Greenhouse Solution by KF Farm are as following:
A series of consultation has taken place involving relevant Divisions and Agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries Malaysia (MAFI), The Embassy of Netherlands in Malaysia, KF Farm Johor, Verbos and Kenlog to discuss the developments and way forward of this project.
In order to strategize promotional programs in 2021, the office has conducted an Online Customer Preference and Feedback Survey from 1 to 15 March 2021 to get some insights on Malaysian preference for food products in Europe (Netherlands & Belgium). The objectives of this feedback survey was to gather information related to Malaysian preference for food products in Netherlands and Belgium market, define possible market for a particular product and explore potential demands for oriental segments in these two markets. The link to the feedback survey was disseminated to the Malaysian diaspora in Netherlands and Belgium through the Embassy of Malaysia in The Hague (Netherlands) and Brussels (Belgium), with a total 410 respondents.
For year 2021, two agriculture promotion programs will be held in Netherlands with Wah Nam Hong and Amazing Oriental Netherlands between September to November 2021. These programs are a continuity of last year’s programs namely Malaysia Food and Fruits Week (MFFW), which was held at Wah Nam Hong Netherlands from 25 September 2020 to 4 October 2020 and Taste of Malaysia (ToM), which was held at Amazing Oriental Netherlands from 7 October to 3 November 2020.
Programs for this year will focus more on expanding and strengthening market access of Malaysian tropical fruits and food products in these two oriental supermarkets. In this view, the office has been consulting the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA), entrepreneurs under FAMA and other industry players to gather feedback and views regarding potential products to be expanded to the Europe market.
Despite travelling to Malaysia is not possible yet, Tourism Malaysia The Hague continues on promoting Malaysia in the Benelux region to maximise resources, restore confidence and to stay visible in the market. The first quarter of 2021 has been all about discussing and planning promotion possibilities with our local and Malaysian stakeholders. Many digital meetings, conferences and virtual tours have taken place. Please find below a selection of the digital meetings and activities carried out.
ANTOR Nederland is the Association of National Tourist Office Representatives in the Netherlands. ANTOR Nederland currently represents 25 members.
On 21st January 2021, Ms. Rosbi Mamat, Director of TM The Hague, participated in the ANTOR virtual General assembly to share experiences, and especially to increase knowledge about the Dutch travel industry and the rapidly changing behaviour of Dutch consumers.
Members of ANTOR Nederland are tourist offices that share the goal to stimulate outbound tourism from The Netherlands. ANTOR Nederland’s objectives are to regularly meet colleagues of other tourist offices that are responsible for the Dutch market, to exchange experiences, to expand knowledge on the Dutch travel industry and Dutch consumer behaviour and to forge closer relationships with the Dutch travel trade, press and bloggers.
Tourism Malaysia The Hague was invited by chef Norman Musa to join the closed pilot session of Travel Cook Eat!, that took place on Saturday 30 January 2021. Penang was in the spotlight for the first pilot session. The virtual travel and cooking demo show promoted Malaysia (Penang) in a very unique and fun way.
A couple days before the event the guests received an eTravelPack via email. Besides travel information, top 10 attractions in Penang, a cook along recipe was also included. This small e-magazine is the perfect preparation and anticipation for the online event.
Virtual Coffee Session organized by Malawakil Brussels & The Hague on 23 February 2021, 1400 hrs. via zoom-attended by Malaysian agencies in The Hague: TM, MATRADE, MAFI and MIDA Frankfurt.
The pandemic has obviously caused a significant reduction in people flying. Restrictive measures, rapidly changing entry requirements and uncertainty about being able to reach the destination and return to the origin without being affected by the measures are big obstacles to travel. Promote safe travel at all points of the journey is essential to restart the tourism industry. Tourism Malaysia The Hague held several discussions with Singapore airlines as well KLM, Royal Dutch Airline, to discuss the challenges and possibilities for joint projects in the near future.
Together with colleagues from other Tourism Malaysia offices in Europe, TM The Hague participated in two virtual tours that took place on 25th February and 26th February 2021. The virtual tours were organized by Buddyz, a Malaysia based travel platform. Both virtual experiences, were LIVE ON-SITE (not a webinar or pre-recorded).
The first tour was an on-site Virtual Experience at Morten Village in Melaka. This village is like a “living museum” where it still retains its old charm despite nestled within the confines of city comforts. Participants will get a taste of the local life and speak to the people who live there. We will bring you different spots in the village, introducing you to the colours and characteristics that contribute to the charm of Kampung Morten.
The second tour was the Virtual Safari Experience with Bornean Sun Bear (Sabah). Participants are guided through a journey at the centre where they will get to take a closer look at the at sun bear’s movement, their natural habitat, and also, how they interact with each other. Besides that, the host will share some information about the Malaysian local flora and fauna such as orangutans, macaques, squirrels and diverse tropical tree species.
TM The Hague is planning to invite travel agents, product managers from the Benelux to experience both virtual on-site tours.
Together with Malaysian Embassy in The Hague; attending the MOU signing ceremony between MSH Instrument Environmental of Malaysia and U-Boat Worx in Breda Netherlands on purchasing Underwater Mini Submersible for research and tourism purposes.
2517KE, The Hague
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