Rotterdam mayor leads delegation to Vietnam, Thailand

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb  visits Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Bangkok, Thailand from March 8th to the 13th. Aboutaleb is scheduled to share advice on floods and climate handling in Ho Chi Minh City, speak about crisis management in Bangkok while visiting the port authorities of both, the city of Rotterdam revealed in a press release. 

Like Rotterdam, Ho Chi Minh City is a delta city prone to floods. Aboutaleb is visiting the Vietnamese city at the request of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. The two countries have a "preferred partnership" in climate change and water management issues, and the mayor will highlight similarities between delta cities worldwide while advising Ho Chih Minh on water safety issues.

"Population grows and there is a need for space. At the same time the cities are more vulnerable to river water effects and sea level rise, Aboutaleb said of the similarities of delta cities worldwide. "Rotterdam is a city where a lot of knowledge in this area is developed in close cooperation with companies and universities in the region," Aboutaleb stated, adding that the partnership between the Netherlands and Vietnam offers great opportunities for business.

Currently, a consortium led by engineering consultancy Grontmij is working to implement climate adaptation plan in Ho Chi Minh City.

Mayor Aboutaleb is accompanied in Vietnam by the Drinking Water Production Manager of the water company Evides, companies from the Dutch water sector and a delegation from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

In Bangkok, the Mayor is presenting a keynote speech on disaster management at the biannual Asia-European Meeting for Governors and Mayors. He will also open the Holland Pavillion at the this week's Agri Horti Business Week, of which the Netherlands is officially a partner. The event includes three international trade fairs, which the Ministry of Economic Affairs will use to further promote the Netherlands.