The Netherlands: 400 Years of Global Trade Results in Knowledge and Skills15-02-2015, Door: Hans de Bruin
Board Member of the American Chamber of Commerce Jochum Haakma indicates that the Dutch have adjusted to working efficiently in highly regulated and regimented environments through the ages. “We are also the most digitalized society, and the country with the greatest broadband density in the world. The fiscal climate is attractive, and labor productivity in the Netherlands is high. The Dutch speak more languages than any other population in the world, and after 400 years of experience in trade, we are thoroughly familiar with the markets. We know exactly how things work in, for example, Scandinavia or Latin America. We understand those markets because we have been doing business with many different countries around the world for the past 400 years, and are accustomed to studying other cultures. A product must be promoted differently, using new activities and means, with adjusted communication methods and a unique sense of humor, in every single country. Dutch trading firms have been doing business all over the world for hundreds of years. Trade is based on knowledge and skills that have been concentrated in the Netherlands in the course of the past centuries,” says Jochum Haakma, currently also Global Executive Director Business Development at TMF Group (offices in 81 countries), serving FDI companies all over the world.
Focused on High Speed Logistics
The local customs procedures are an important advantage of doing business in Europe through the Netherlands. Jochum Haakma: “Not all European Union member states are as focused on high speed logistics as the Netherlands is. Comparative studies also indicate that Dutch customs authorities approach businesses in a practical and pro-active fashion. Dutch customs services combines the facilitating of trade with optimizing of customs procedures. For many international companies the Netherlands is the preferred country through which to import to Europe. The entrepreneurial climate in the Netherlands differentiates itself from other European nations because here the stakeholders consult each other structurally; here employers and employees are engaged in ongoing conversations aimed at pre-empting differences in points of view, and arriving at joint agreements with each other. The pro-business approach is in our genes. We have been the Gateway to Europe for four hundred years for good reason. We are a multicultural and multilingual nation: at least 190 nationalities are represented in our Port cities, and the general level of education is high. We are also focused on working together. All in all, this is the perfect climate for flourishing international business activities.”
Foreign Companies are Welcome
The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and the American Chamber of Commerce with a separate Chapter of the Brabant Development Agency play important roles in investing in foreign companies in the Netherlands. Business parks in the Netherlands, like Borchwerf II, welcome foreign companies with open arms. Everybody here is invigorated with positive energy, and the national, regional en local governments fully supports the establishment of foreign companies. When a US company arrives, its head office will have direct access to the international tax inspector in the Netherlands, and agreements will be made about taxation for the next five to six years. If a company makes a significant investment, there will be many opportunities for tax offsets and deductions. The many American companies that take advantage of these opportunities, such as PVH (Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein), Forever Direct EU, Terex and CEVA Logistics at Borchwerf II Business Area, are a great source of Dutch job creation through the European Distribution Centers. They pave the way for the other American companies we look forward to welcoming here.” Would you like more information about the possibilities at Borchwerf II Business Area? Please let us know!
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