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Huge interest from UK in Dutch offshore energy sector

In collaboration with the Northern Powerhouse, Team Humber Marine Alliance and the Department of International Trade (DIT), the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) recently welcomed 53 British delegates from the Northern Powerhouse, all of whom operate in the offshore energy sector, on a trade mission to Amsterdam. Brexit or no Brexit, the fact that this was the biggest trade mission from the UK ever hosted by the NBCC, is testimony to the fact that UK companies are eager and ready to continue and expand their commercial links with the rest of Europe.

This UK trade mission was held over two days at the Offshore Energy Exhibition, the leading sector event at the RAI in Amsterdam, and focused on obtaining new knowledge about developments in the offshore wind sector, building new business partnerships and networking. 

During the group ferry crossing from Humberside to Rotterdam the UK delegates were given updates on the energy sector and presentations on conducting business in the Netherlands by NBCC Director Michiel van Deursen and Suzanne van de Beek of the British Embassy in the Hague, as well as guidance on how to successfully enter the Dutch market. Additionally, the delegates were presented with their mission itinerary that covered the events and their meetings that were to take place over the next two days. Upon arriving at the RAI the delegates made their way to the splendid Premium Lounge where they could relax, network, meet prospective business partners and grab a tea or coffee and snacks. 

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The program consisted of market sector updates and provided insights into future offshore wind projects. Alongside this, the participants were offered an opportunity to pitch their products from a stage to the exhibition audience.

Through various group meetings and numerous pre-arranged “one-to-one” meetings, the mission offered ample opportunities for the delegates to initiate new business relations. Leading Dutch players such as Ampelmann, Boskalis, Damen Shipyards and Van Oord also participated in the programme. 

Aside from this the delegates had their day full of other conferences and events that were taking place but they were also given the opportunity to explore the exhibition and to make new contacts at their own leisure.

Fresh with new knowledge, business contacts and insights into the offshore wind energy sector, the end of the journey culminated in the delegates departure from Amsterdam via Rotterdam back to Humberside on the ferry. With a packed agenda and a vast amount of opportunity to network and build business partnerships the whole trade mission was thoroughly enjoyed by all involved and the NBCC and DIT received a lot of positive feedback. As quoted from Suzie Hattersley, Trade Mission Manager at DIT: 

I just wanted to say a big, big thank you for all of your support and meticulous planning which helped the Netherlands mission result in being such a resounding success. Michiel, obviously we could not have done it without you and NBCC.  Please extend our thanks to your colleague who also joined us. It all ran so smoothly and professionally – we couldn’t ask for any more”.

The delegates and organisers are looking forward to a next version of this mission in 2020 and have started preparing for this already.

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