Along with colleagues Paul Brown and Tim Potter I flew into Amsterdam Schiphol on Tuesday. The purpose of the trip was to travel to Rotterdam to meet with our PrimeGlobal member firm Visser & Visser, and international bank ING and their clients interested in doing business in the UK. The trip had been organised after we hosted several UK businesses interested in doing Business in the Netherlands in Manchester, late 2017.
It seems that businesses both sides of the channel are interested in learning about opportunities, particularly post-Brexit. There has been a steady growth in trade between the two countries – almost doubling over the last 20 years according to the DIT. There is no sign of this trend being arrested pre or post Brexit. A whopping 16% of EU Trade is between the UK & Netherlands, and the country is the UK’s number 1 logistics hub for onward trade to Europe (and presumably vice versa).
Arriving at Rotterdam I was immediately struck by the parallels with Manchester. Sharing a strong maritime past, both cities celebrate a rich industrial heritage with a forward looking economic strategy. The only significant difference appears to be that whilst Manchester’s maritime influence has waned significantly, Rotterdam has prospered becoming the largest port outside of Asia.
As we met Dutch business representatives over the two-day trip, the parallels continued. Their post Brexit outlook was almost identical to the what we had heard from the UK businesses we had hosted in Manchester last year; an equitable split, with a prosperous future.
As a side note, Rotterdam is well worth a visit - it was a real suprise...
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