On Monday 6 July 2020, the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Amsterdam Trade & Innovate and NLinBusiness organised a webinar: “Doing Business with the UK”.
Read below for a brief summary of the webinar, would you like to see the entire webinar?
Jan-Willem Thoen of PwC set the stage, saying that while we face challenging times; with Brexit on the ropes, the remnants of Covid-19 and the International Trade talks ongoing, there are still plenty of opportunities for businesses.
Jeavon Lolay at Lloyds Bank first commented on the United Kingdom's current economic challenges. He mentioned how the economy felt the initial impact of the pandemic but also managed to quickly show signs of early recovery as the UK emerges from lockdown. He then explained the ongoing policy repose of the government with the Bank of England and laid out the key challenges we will be facing throughout the year.
Andy Spencer delved into the Brexit component, and began his speech by explaining that with or without an agreement, things will change. In particular we will see changes to the trading of goods and services, with an emphasis on the fact that the UK can choose to do whatever it wants with respect to VAT; they can even remove it if they so desire, but this is unlikely to happen. Andy ended his speech by sharing the details of how you can prepare your business for Brexit.
In order to offer extra support to businesses in these trying times, David Weatherhead of Lloyd’s Bank introduced the Lloyd’s Bank International Trade Portal, which is a key information resource for businesses at all stages of their trade journey. Through this portal, businesses can find suppliers, highlight prospects, market studies, trade shows and find client data. This information shows where other companies import and what suppliers they use. David stated: “This tool will help you check your competitors and diversify from your core business.”
Another support mechanism is provided by NLinBusiness. During the webinar, Lise Hordijk, International Business Manager of NLinBusiness shared how their focus is to help Dutch SMEs with their international expansion, she explained: "We are working closely with the NBCC to provide soft landing services for Dutch SMEs in United Kingdom.”
Michiel van Deursen of the bilateral chamber of commerce NBCC explained how the NBCC supports business expansion to the UK: "The NBCC's mission is to connect people and businesses, to ensure that our Member's views are represented by Policymakers in both countries, to provide high quality support and to deliver valuable business insight."
Special attention has been paid to the region of Wales, as Darryn Lewis from the Welsh Government provided an overview with key information, benefits, opportunities, support and partnerships for companies open to try and do business with Wales.
Having explained the details of the UK market, the three entrepreneurs who have already expanded to the UK explained why the market provides ample opportunities, as Taco Carlier, founder and CEO of Van Moof stated: "The UK is the perfect country for Dutch companies to start exporting". He also added that Dutch companies who want to expand globally should start with the UK because it is easy to establish a company there. Also, Pleun van Malkenhorst shared this view, representing Thanet Growers (Thanet Earth) an Anglo-Dutch Venture with the initial idea to connect Dutch Greenhouses with British Retailer. Lastly, Lennard van Otterloo Co-Founder of Torbay Intelligence, said: "Do not let the Brexit sentiment among the British population hold you back. Brexit does not mean all British people would be reluctant to work with companies or people from the EU, he said.
Despite its challenges, the UK is a great market for Dutch entrepreneurs looking to export or expand abroad. It is an easy market to establish yourself, especially with the help of the bilateral chamber of commerce NBCC and NLinBusiness. Would you like to learn more? The presentation can be downloaded here, or you can watch a recording of the webinar here.
A big thank Jan-Willem Thoen of PwC for being our Moderator and all the speakers for their insights into doing business with the UK.
To view the webinar, click here