About the New Chairman:
Anton Valk was elected as chairman of the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) in the Board meeting of 28 August 2013. Until 2012 he was Chief Executive of Abellio, a major transport group and subsidiary of Netherlands Railways, which he founded from scratch in 2001. Since he retired from Abellio, Mr Valk has accepted a portfolio of advisory and non-executive positions both in the Netherlands and the UK.
By: Anton Valk
It is a pleasure for me to write this column for the first edition of our quarterly newsletter as the new chairman of the NBCC.
During the first half of this year much work has been done behind the scenes to prepare for a new strategy for the NBCC of which you can find a summary on the NBCC website. The main purpose of our strategy going forward is a focus on serving our members. We will do this in close cooperation with both embassies.
The NBCC is exclusively concentrating on promoting and stimulating bilateral trade and investment between the UK and the Netherlands. Therefore we have as a first step re-opened our London office again at the Dutch embassy to support our members in the UK.
We have been boosting our membership offering already since the beginning of this year with an increased number of events and activities. These vary from the recent successful KLM golf tournament in Wentworth to a sales workshop and network event at ABN AMRO bank in London and an interesting visit to Damen Shipyards in the Netherlands in October. Not only do we offer our members opportunities to learn and to meet, we also will expand our services offering for individual members. This in addition to the successful projects and trade missions, of which several took place in the past months; such as our offshore wind trade mission in June of this year and our participation in the “Love Cycling, Go Dutch” campaign at the Cycle Show in Birmingham in September 2013 .
The Netherlands and the United Kingdom are traditionally important partners in bilateral trade and investment, in which large multinationals, investors and service companies play a key role. Within the framework of the UK-NL Strategic Business Dialogue, an initiative of both governments, we want to closely engage with these companies again. Therefore we have established a special member category of ‘premier members’ for which we have developed a special offer
For both the Netherlands and the United Kingdom the best way to create growth is to increase export and inward investment for which we see many opportunities. With its 60 million advanced consumers Britain offers a major opportunity for Dutch entrepreneurship. The Netherlands, although smaller in size, with its language skills and cultural closeness offers easy access for British companies at the doorstep of the huge European market.