The United East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie; VOC), also known as the Dutch East India Company, was originally established as a chartered company in 1602 when the Dutch government granted it a 21 year monopoly on Dutch spice trade.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is known for its cheese, windmills, tulips, and wooden clogs. Dig a little deeper though, and you will find that it has an abundance of Masters of Art, cutting edge technology, and a deep and rich history of trade and exploration.
Widely considered the first multinational corporation in the world, it was the first company to issue stock and possessed quasi - governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, negotiate treaties, stirke its own coins, and establish colonies.
Here in Asia, the VOC eclipsed all of its rivals, sending a million Europeans to work in trade on 4,785 ships. In addition to the establishment of commerce for trade goods between Europe and Asia, the VOC introduced European ideas and technology to the area.
These days, the Dutch presence in Asia, especially Southeast Asia, continues to be strong and vibrant. Dutch companies (such as Philips, Shell, Dutch Lady, Heineken, TNT, Unilever and many more) are all well known names. Indeed, some are so strongly woven into the local fabric, and have been here for so many years, that many will be surprized to hear that these are, in fact, Dutch (and not home grown Malaysian brands).
New Dutch companies continue to enter the Malaysian market. Companies such as Besi have set up their facilities here and are using Malaysia as their base of operations for the Asian region. With them, comes a continued tradition of goods and technology transfer from The Netherlands. In fact, if you are reading a soft copy of this magazine from your cell phone, there’s a pretty good chance that your cell phone screen was manufactured by Besi.
High tech industries in The Netherlands are among the most innovative in the world, thanks to state - of - the - art facilities and cutting edge research and development. Dutch technological know - how and products (such as products from ORGA - navigational aids & renewable energy for the Oil & Gas Industry, or HQ Pack - custom designed packaging for high tech and sensitive industrial products) are much sought after and are exported worldwide.
The Netherland’s centuries - old tradition of creativity, pragmatism, entrepreneurship, openness and collaboration forms a perfect fit for the High Tech Systems and Materials sector. These qualities make The Netherlands the perfect place to find solutions to the challenges society is facing today in the areas of health and wellness, security, renewable energy, mobility and climate; solutions that, due to the complexity of the challenge, are primarily generated through cross overs in technology and collaboration.