Soft Launch Holland House Chile
On Friday, December 13, the Dutch ambassador for Chile, Harman Idema, gave the starting signal for the Holland House in Chile. Chile is the next Holland House in Latin America, where in countries such as Colombia, Panama and Mexico City a Holland House already exists.
The event took place at the residence of the Dutch ambassador in the presence of, among others, the director of Invest Chile, Cristián Rodriguez, the chairman of the Dutch Chilean Chamber of Commerce, Brenda de Swart, representative of NlinBusiness Sander Janssen and a limited number of invited guests from Dutch and Chilean businesses.
Given the current situation in Chile, a 'soft launch' has been chosen. The official opening is planned for the first half of 2020.
One of the countries with great potential
Chile offers enormous potential for Dutch businesses due to, among other things, the great wealth of raw materials (copper and lithium) and the open economy. The relationship between Chile and the Netherlands is strong and offers a good basis for further growth. An open economy that in terms of size is not inferior to that of Colombia (approximately 10% smaller) and with only an import of € 465M from the Netherlands and exports to the Netherlands of € 1.6B (the majority of which is transit), there are many opportunities here .
The Holland House Chile was established in close collaboration with the Dutch embassy in Chile, the Dutch business community, the Chilean business community focused on the Netherlands and NLinBusiness.
Great opportunities for entrepreneurs
Harman Idema, Dutch ambassador in Chile: “The Netherlands and Chile have a strong bond historically. The Netherlands is the 4th largest investor in Chile. In terms of population, the country is about the same size as the Netherlands and, like the Netherlands, it is an open economy focused on exports. Chile scores best from all Latin America on all doing business indexes. Dutch companies are active in many sectors, with opportunities in particular for agrofood, water and waste management, transport and logistics and the circular economy. The recent demonstrations hopefully contribute to less inequality, which will give the country, the people and also companies an economic advantage. The Holland House gives an extra boost to Dutch presence, which is characterized by innovation, sustainability and the 'Dutch Triangle' collaboration with government and research. My adagio for the Holland House: 'For entrepreneurs the place for your first cup of coffee in Chili'!”
Cristián Rodriguez, Director of Invest Chile: “The sectors that Chile wants to focus on offer great opportunities for Dutch business. This includes green energy, global services, mining (equipment, technology and services), the food industry and also sustainable tourism. The Netherlands has a great deal of knowledge and is a forerunner in a number of these sectors, so we are very happy that a dynamic Holland House will be set up to help us make progress in these sectors. Chile has had a difficult period, but after touring all major trading partners there is still a lot of confidence in Chile. We strive for the economic miracle to translate into a social and democratic miracle.”
Make a flying start
Holland House Chile, like the other business hubs in the region, is primarily set up as a soft landing hub and business accelerator for new and already established Dutch companies that want to work on the Chilean market and are looking for a good network around them to make a flying start on the Chilean or Latin American market. In addition, Holland House Chili also focuses on connecting Chilean service providers and established Dutch companies, as well as anyone who wants to do any kind of commerce between both countries.
Frans Janssen, general manager of Holland House Chile: “Chile offers an enormous number of opportunities for Dutch companies (small and large) and fulfills a sub-regional function. The excellent aviation connections, the good business climate and high business acumen are the main reasons for this. Due to its unique location, Chile is not always well known by Dutch business and it is one of our duties to change that. "
A strong Holland House
Brenda de Swart, chairman Holland House Chile (former Chilean Dutch Chamber of Commerce): “We have had a Chilean Dutch Chamber of Commerce in Chile for many years. However, this was in dire need of renewal. The conversion of the Chamber of Commerce to a Holland House as we know it in Colombia is exactly what we were looking for.
When analyzing the import and export between the Netherlands and Chile, we have identified 1800 companies. The potential is there, and with the founding of the Holland House we have now also found the right form to further increase the commercial opportunities between the two countries.
Sander Janssen from NL in Business talks about how the Holland Houses in Latin America form part of a larger whole.
NLinBusiness supports entrepreneurs who want to grow internationally by opening up a network of NL Business Hubs worldwide in markets with great potential for Dutch entrepreneurs. In Latin America this includes Mexico, Panama, Colombia and Brazil. With the connection of Holland House Chili to the NLinBusiness platform, business opportunities become visible to Dutch companies and doing business in Chile becomes easier. The potential in Chile is now also being unlocked for Dutch entrepreneurs.
Flavio Belloli of Fugro, a loyal member since the beginning, tells how embassies and Holland Houses (or Dutch Business Councils) make a major contribution if you, as an entrepreneur, embark on an area that is unknown to you.
From left to right: Sander Janssen, NLinBusiness, Harman Idema, ambassador of
the Netherlands in Chile and Frans Janssen, general manager Holland House