This moment was equally historic: two weeks before the United Kingdom was due to welcome a new Prime Minister leading the process of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. The Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce and its partners have prepared this working dinner with the ambition to ensure that the Netherlands stays at the forefront of developing a positive economic relationship with the UK post-Brexit. This event was designed to strengthen bilateral relations, drive growth and act as a new positive influential platform.
The NBCC North Sea Neighbours Dinner 2019 was organised at the Conservatorium Hotel in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UK Department for International Trade, and high-end stakeholders from both the public and private sector for top business executives.
Our special guests were The Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade in the United Kingdom and Ms. Sigrid Kaag, minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the Netherlands who presented the keynote speeches at this occasion.
Both Ministers showed their commitment to the bilateral relationship.
The UK’s International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:
“Britain is, and will remain, a progressive and innovative partner for the Netherlands - and post-Brexit there will continue to be huge opportunities for building partnerships to tackle the future challenges we both face.”
Sigrid Kaag, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation stated:
“The UK and the Netherlands cherish their extensive economic ties, which go back many centuries and encompass all layers of society. We have a shared responsibility in shaping the future together.”
Additionally, the NBCC handed out awards for four categories to celebrate success in the key growth drivers, and to inspire others by recognising and showcasing outstanding British-Dutch achievements of the past year:
- NBCC Technological Innovation Award 2019 was presented by Jan Peter Balkenende, Former Prime Minister of The Netherlands and External Senior Advisor to EY, and Heba Bevan, CEO of Utterberry, to HYPERVSN;
- NBCC Sustainability Award 2019 was presented by Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam, and Wineke Haagsma, Director Corporate Responsibility at PwC, to Tony’s Chocolonely;
- NBCC Woman of the Year Award 2019 was presented by HE Peter Wilson, British Ambassador to the Netherlands, and Elena Paitra, Head of Consumer from Lloyds Bank, to Blanca Juti – Heineken;
- NBCC Stronger Together Award 2019 presented by Jean François van Boxmeer, CEO Heineken, Secretary of State Liam Fox and Hanneke Schuiling, Director General Foreign Economic Relations, to Dutch Flower Group.
Anton Valk, Chairman of NBCC, noted the following with great enthusiasm in his closing remarks: “We’re proud to have organised this great event with our partners and we are looking forward to a great future together filled with many more inspiring moments.”