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NBCC Brexit Forum with Minister Kaag

On Wednesday 30 January the latest edition of the  
NBCC Brexit Forum took place with the participation of the
Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation,
Ms. Sigrid Kaag, at KPMG in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

“Who is well prepared for Brexit?” she asked the audience, which
was comprised primarily  of entrepreneurs from the technological industries.
There were far too few hands raised: “Time for action,” was her response.

We were delighted to see many of our members joining us at this event with the
target of discussing the latest Brexit developments.

According to the results of the Brexit Industry Barometer, including more than 
200 Dutch industrial companies, a hard Brexit would result in large delays at
the border, more complex procedures and administrative hassles.
The Barometer, a
n initiative of The Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce,
KPMG Meijburg & Co, VNO-NCW and FME was held prior to the aforementioned
Brexit event.
 The Barometer shows that 38% of industrial entrepreneurs are still focusing 
on the preparation they require for Brexit. Some 36% have started and
only 17% have already completed it. Almost one in ten entrepreneurs
has not even begun. Most entrepreneurs are concerned about delays
at the border (19%). Then comes administration hassles (18%) and
more complex customs procedures (18%). Around one in ten companies
are worried about higher costs. Other concerns are: deviating
regulations in the United Kingdom (8%), exchange rate risks (6%) and
more difficulty travelling back and forth (6%). Only 7% see opportunities
and are not worried. Furthermore, most of the industrial entrepreneurs
need practical tips for Brexit (53%). Almost a third (27%) are looking
for updates on the situation around Brexit. 16% of entrepreneurs are looking
for experiences from others to deal with Brexit.
The danger of a no-deal - and therefore, hard - Brexit is huge for the 
technology industry, according to Ineke Dezentjé-Hamming of FME:
"Because it remains unclear how Brexit will take shape, FME calls for
the postponement of Brexit, so that entrepreneurs have some breathing space.
Around € 15 billion in exports of industrial products goes to the United Kingdom.
In particular, manufacturers of means of transport and chemical products,
suppliers of the car industry and machine manufacturers can be hit hard.
We are making an effort to ensure that we manage this in every
conceivable scenario."
Hans de Boer, Chairman of VNO-NCW stated: 'The companies that only focus 
on Brexit need to be fully equipped to protect themselves against the
risks of all possible scenarios. You should take many of the measures anyway
and now that a no-deal scenario is becoming increasingly real you can no longer
wait with less than 60 days to go. We make sure, together with the national
government, to prepare entrepreneurs for Brexit. With meetings, with the
Brexit Impact Scan, with, but it is really one minute before twelve.”
“Almost every day I speak to companies that are very concerned 
about the consequences of Brexit for their company, but who do not know
where to start when assessing the impact,"  stated Leon Kanters, Brexit expert
at KPMG Meijburg & Co. "In case of a 'no deal,' Dutch companies must seriously
take into account additional delays at the border. This can hurt businesses if they
are part of a just-in-time supply chain, such as the food industry
and technology sector.
So, since the situation is uncertain at the moment,
be prepared for all imaginable scenarios,
because doing nothing is no longer
an option!"
Anton Valk: “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!”
The Chairman of the Dutch-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), 
Anton Valk CBE, emphasized that "The Brexit status quo continues to
bring uncertainties for entrepreneurs. Our advice, as voiced during our
previous NBCC Brexit Forum events, remains as valid as ever:
'hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” The age-old Dutch-British
trade relationship will also stand up to Brexit, however, good cooperation
and effective preparation are essential here ".

We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to all of our partners & speakers,
without whom this event would not have been possible.

The event was a great success and we are proud to have given our members a
platform to be inspired by the rigorous exchange of ideas and to feel more
prepared and up-to-date than they did before attending.


© 2019 The Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce