Patrons

Swedish Chamber of Commerce in The Netherlands 

Promoting Swedish business and values in the Netherlands since 1960
By Members for Members

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the Netherlands is a dynamic Swedish-Dutch business platform, extending commercial relations between Sweden and the Netherlands and creating first-class business services.We are a nonprofit organization with more than 60 years of experience, helping entrepreneurs and corporations of all sizes to establish, grow and develop their business.

News

Johannes Oljelund appointed new Swedish Ambasador to the Netherlands
H.E. Annika Markovic will be stepping down from her role as Swedish Ambassador to the Netherlands after three years in duty. On March 18, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Johannes Oljelund will be assuming the position as the new Swedish Ambassador to the Netherlands during the autumn 2021. Today Johannes Oljelund is serving Director-General for International Development Cooperation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He has earlier had positions as coordinator for State Secretary of State Isabella Lövin and other various position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has also served at the embassies in Talinn and Pretoria. Johannes Oljelund assumes the position in the autumn of 2021.
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Christian Levin is appointed new CEO of Scania
The Board of Directors of Scania has appointed Christian Levin as new CEO and President of Scania from May 1, 2021.
Christian Levin is currently a member of the Executive Board of TRATON SE and Chief Operating Officer of the TRATON GROUP and has more than 20 years of experience working at Scania. In addition to his new function at Scania, Levin will remain member of the Executive Board of TRATON SE. Levin succeeds Henrik Henriksson, who is leaving Scania after 23 years and more than five years as the CEO, to join H2 Green Steel, a new venture that aims to start production of fossil-free steel by 2024. Henriksson will remain at Scania until Levin takes up the CEO position. “We regret that Henrik Henriksson is leaving Scania and the TRATON family, but we are also proud that he will take on such a great new challenge, a perfect match for his unique expertise as a sustainability leader. Our industry will also benefit greatly from fossil-free steel, and TRATON will follow this venture with interest. Fortunately, we could not ask for a better-suited successor than Christian Levin. His experience and knowledge of both the industry and Scania is a perfect fit and will safeguard Scania’s commitment to sustainability and boost its transformation journey,” says Matthias Gründler, CEO of TRATON SE and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Scania. Christian Levin joined TRATON SE in 2019. He began his career at Scania in 1994 as a management trainee and has held several managerial positions since then. Levin has very broad international professional experience and holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He was Executive Vice President and Head of Sales & Marketing at Scania before joining TRATON. “It is a very special honour for me to become CEO of Scania, the company that had such a tremendous influence on my life and career. With the passionate global team at Scania, I will work hard to further drive the shift towards a sustainable transport system. As a strong brand of the TRATON GROUP, we will continue Henrik’s successful work and create a world of mobility that is better for business, society and the environment”, says Christian Levin, COO of the TRATON GROUP and designated President and CEO of Scania. “It was a very difficult decision for me to take, to leave Scania, a company which I have spent my entire professional career with and that I see as family. I have had a fantastic journey at Scania and I feel proud of what we have achieved. I also feel confident that Scania is well positioned for the future, with a clear purpose to drive the shift towards sustainable transport,” says Henrik Henriksson, President and CEO of Scania.
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Producer confidence at highest level in two years
In April 2021, the mood among Dutch manufacturers improved further and producer confidence reached its highest level in two years. The industrial capacity utilisation rate stood at 81.7 percent at the start of Q2 2021. This was higher than at the start of Q1, but still lower than before the coronavirus crisis. Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. In April, German producer confidence improved to the highest level in three years, according to the Business Climate Index of the IFO Institute. Companies reported greatly improved business, but optimism declined with regard to future output. In March, the average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry grew by almost 6 percent year-on-year, as reported by Destatis.

Manufacturing output 3 percent up in March

In March 2021, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.0 percent up on March 2020, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS). In the previous month, output was down by 2.3 percent. In April 2021, the mood among Dutch manufacturers improved further.

Output growth in more than half of the industries

In March, more than half of all industries saw their output increase on an annual basis. The transport equipment industry achieved the highest growth. This is partly because a number of companies in this sector closed their factories completely in the last weeks of March last year.   Source      
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Captains — Moving people through stories

Remy Steijger is the co-founder of Captains — content production agency and member company of the Swedish Chamber. We went to visit him at their office in Delft, finding out what the oh-so-popular word storytelling actually means.

"Lots of new clients, lots of new opportunities '', Remy Steijger says as he walks through the office located at the same railway station he used to wait for the train as a kid. With his childhood home only a couple of streets away, it is not hard to understand him getting nostalgic as he looks out the window. — It is kind of like I connected the future with the past by getting this place. It is crazy to think that when I was a kid, standing over there by the railtrack, this would one day become my office. I never would have imagined.  It was six years ago Remy decided to partner with Jop Goslinga, co-founder of Captains, to start a content production agency dedicated to authentic storytelling. But when asked to look back at his career, it all seems to have started long before that. More specifically, at his part time job at the Ikea store in Delft.  By spending most weekends at the blue-yellow headquarters, Remy not only earned some extra money while finishing his studies, but managed to grow a passion for marketing which paved the way for his future. — You know, people from all around the world came to that store to get educated. They were doing marketing research, always experimenting with customers, and I found that so interesting. At one point, I was learning more at my part time job than I was from my studies. The real thing happened in the Ikea store.

Ten years later

Fast forward ten years and it was time for Remy to leave the Swedish cult brand which by then had given him the opportunity to, in his own words, take on huge marketing responsibilities while getting to travel the world. The next step was following his entrepreneurial spirit.  — I always thought that I would be an entrepreneur one day, I just had to wait for the right moment. By the time I left Ikea, I started to get really interested in social media.  And I already knew how to create good stories, so I thought ‘wow, this is what I should be doing, this is the field I should start my business in’.  And so he did. But it was not until Remy later teamed up with Jop, the journalist who created mind blowing video content, that the real success story began. With a name inspired by navigation and leadership, showing people how things should be done, they started Captains. Today the team consists of project managers, strategists, producers, directors and editors — all working under one roof with the same core vision; moving people through stories. — We use stories to move people. When we tell a story through a video, we want to reach people’s emotions, making them laugh, get the chills, and simply connect to the story we are telling. And how do you manage to keep people's attention? — One of the most important things is that we know exactly what kind of audience we are creating the video for. And it is not necessarily a person with a typically pretty face who should tell the story. If we make it as authentic as possible, then people think ‘okay, I am watching the real stuff here, not a commercial’.  Authenticity is what sets Captains apart, according to Remy. By focusing on the audience rather than the client, and not being afraid to stick to their niche, they are unique.  — A lot of our competition say that they do the same thing we do, when in reality they also do commercials with actors and fiction. They basically do everything, and I do not believe that you can do one thing extremely good if you try to do everything. And that is why I can say that we are making the best products out there within our niche.

A unique, perhaps Swedish inspired, culture

Captains have a not-so-traditional way of working, Remy explains. Instead of having an advertising agency coming up with the concept, a production agency creating the content, and a media agency getting it out there, they make it all happen within one agency.  Remy points to the different rooms surrounding him, some with traditional desks and others with impressive computer setups, showing where his co-workers with varying roles do their job. But in the end, it is all a big collaboration where everyone contributes and challenges one another. — In our culture, everyone is given freedom and responsibility. That means that if you want to achieve something, or have an initiative to do something, you are free to try it out. Nobody here is going to tell you ‘no, you are not allowed’. And if someone has a problem with my attitude, or thinks that I am doing something wrong, they are free to tell me. We do not have that sort of hierarchy here.  Has that sort of flat hierarchy, which is typical for Swedish organisations, inspired you? — Absolutely. In the Netherlands, having lunch breaks with the store manager is not as common. I would like to think that the yellow in Captains stems from my Swedish connection since working for Ikea. It was very informal working there, and that definitely inspired me when it comes to the culture here. As Remy continues talking about Captains’ culture, he brings out an obviously meaningful book to the office. “We are going to be the new Disney”, it says when he flips the dog-covered front page. The high ambition is crystal clear. — That is our main goal. We want the reputation and the size of Disney, and we want to produce content that everyone knows about. In the future, we will be one of the first names people think about when asked to mention a big content production agency in Europe. Maybe even worldwide.   

Text: Jennifer Nilsson — The Swedish Chamber of Commerce

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