News

Dutch start using AstraZeneca vaccine, family doctors now come on board
A third vaccine in the Dutch coronavirus campaign came into use on Friday – the AstraZeneca vaccine which was approved for use by the European Medicines Agency at the end of January. In the Netherlands, the two-dose AstraZeneca vaccination is being given to people aged 60 to 65 as well as younger adults with morbid obesity and the over 18s with Down’s syndrome. Healthcare workers who have not yet been vaccinated will also come on board. From Monday, family doctors in Zeeland will start vaccinating their patients with the vaccine, and the programme will then be rolled out to Limburg, Brabant and then the rest of the country. Read more at DutchNews.nl: https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2021/02/dutch-start-using-astrazeneca-vaccine-family-doctors-now-come-on-board/  
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Meet Ingrid Thijssen, President VNO-NCW, Speaker at European Chambers Partner Event on March 30, 2021 over the Dutch Election 2021
Ingrid Thijssen (1968) took up the position of President of VNO-NCW, the Confederation of Netherlands’ Industry and Employers, on September 15th, 2020. Prior to her appointment as President of VNO-NCW, Ingrid Thijssen was CEO of the electricity network company Alliander. In that capacity she was also a member of the Executive Board of VNONCW. Ingrid Thijssen has previously been CEO of NS Reizigers, the passenger transport branch of the Netherlands’ national railways company, and a member of the supervisory board of various organisations, including the Port Authority of Rotterdam and health insurance company Coöperatie VGZ. She has also been a member of the supervisory board of Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and the board of SchuldenLab NL, an organisation assisting municipalities to help citizens managing their debts. As President of VNO-NCW, Ingrid Thijssen is vice-chair of the SER (Social-Economic Council of the Netherlands), co-chair of the Stichting van de Arbeid (Foundation of Labour), chair of DECP (Dutch Employers' Cooperation Programme, assisting employers organisations in developing and emerging countries), chair of PUM (senior experts, assisting companies in developing and emerging countries) and chair of the supervisory board of the Netherlands’ international business support organisation NLinBusiness. Ingrid Thijssen studied law at Utrecht University, after which she completed various courses at international academic institutions (INSEAD, MIT, Harvard Kennedy School)   For more information about the Swedish Chamber of Commerce European Chambers Partner Event on March 30, 2021 please visit our event page.
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Amsterdam ousts London as Europe’s top share trading hub
UK’s departure from the EU prompts shift in dealing of stocks and derivativesPlease use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of and . Email to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be . Amsterdam surpassed London as Europe’s largest share trading centre last month as the Netherlands scooped up business lost by the UK since Brexit. An average €9.2bn shares a day were traded on Euronext Amsterdam and the Dutch arms of CBOE Europe and Turquoise in January, a more than fourfold increase from December. The surge came as volumes in London fell sharply to €8.6bn, dislodging the UK from its historic position as the main hub for the European market, according to data from CBOE Europe. The shift was prompted by a ban on EU-based financial institutions trading in London because Brussels has not recognised UK exchanges and trading venues as having the same supervisory status as its own. Without this so-called equivalence to ease cross-border dealing, there was an immediate shift of €6.5bn of deals to the EU when the Brexit transition period concluded at the end of last year. It was about half of the amount of business that London banks and brokers would normally handle. Analysts and executives say the transfer would not mean thousands of jobs leaving London, while the tax hit would be limited to the effects the move in trading would have on the profits of companies involved, they said. Financial services contributed almost £76bn in tax receipts to the UK Treasury last year. Still, the large move in share trading to Amsterdam makes the city one of the early winners from Brexit. Since the start of the year, Amsterdam has also picked up activity in swaps and sovereign debt markets that would typically have taken place in London before Brexit. CBOE Europe is setting up a derivatives trading business in the Dutch capital in the first half of the year.   Photo WolfSimen Unsplash  
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Ingka Investments to take 49% stake in Ikano Bank
Ingka Investments 11 February 2021
Ingka Investments B.V. is to become part-owner of Ikano Bank AB (publ), which today is fully owned by Ikano S.A. Through the issue of new shares by Ikano Bank, Ingka Investments B.V. will obtain a 49% stake in the Bank, with the option to acquire the remaining shares at a later date. The transaction is subject to approvals by relevant regulatory authorities.
For Ingka Group – who operates 378 IKEA-stores and its e-commerce platform in 31 countries – this is a decisive step into financial services, a core part of Ingka Group’s journey to help make IKEA more affordable, accessible and sustainable. For Ikano Bank, who is on a journey to become a fully digitalised bank for the many people, a closer partnership with Ingka Group, will enable the Bank to further accelerate its transformation and deliver accessible financial services for more of the many people. Ingka Group and Ikano Bank originate from the same founder, and share a heritage, strong culture and similar values. They already have a longstanding commercial partnership, where Ikano Bank has served as IKEA Retail’s financial service provider across eight countries. With this part-ownership in the Bank, Ingka and Ikano Bank will be able to maximise the potential of the existing relationship and provide financial services to customers, through a seamless end-toend digitised experience, offered online or in-store. Krister Mattsson, Managing Director, commented: “This agreement brings us a step closer to fulfilling Ingka Group’s ambition to offer competitive and accessible financial services, enabling even more people to have better homes and thereby, better lives. The significant investment in Ikano Bank is also an exciting step for Ingka Investments into the banking sector. As customers and retailers increasingly seek banking solutions with a strong digital foundation, our commitment to work even closer with Ikano Bank during its digital transformation is a great opportunity to serve new and existing customers alike.” Henrik Eklund, CEO, Ikano Bank, said: “We’re excited to welcome Ingka Group as a part owner of Ikano Bank. Together we will continue to develop accessible digital financial services for IKEA customers, our other valued partners, and end customers.” Ingka Group will continue to work with a range of partners across all IKEA Retail countries to deliver financial services to its customers. Ikano Bank will also continue developing and working with its existing partners and other business lines delivering simple, fair and affordable services, enabling a healthy economy for the many people. The transaction has been agreed between the parties and is now subject to regulatory approvals from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) and relevant competition authorities. Following the completion of the transaction, representatives from Ingka Group will, subject to completed management suitability assessment from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, join the Board of Ikano Bank. Ingka Group has a call option to acquire the remaining 51% of shares at a later date.
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Credits: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se
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Curfew extended due to possible new wave of infections
The night-time curfew currently in place has now been extended until 04.30 on Wednesday 3 March. This is necessary because new, more contagious variants of coronavirus are gaining ground in the Netherlands, which could lead to a new wave of infections. The other lockdown measures will also remain in force, as indicated during the press conference on Tuesday 2 February.

Curfew

The curfew means that everyone must stay indoors between 21.00 and 04.30. During curfew hours, you are not allowed to go outdoors without a valid reason. If you need to go outdoors, you must carry a special form, a ‘self-declaration for curfew exemption’. If you need to go outdoors for a work-related reason, you must also carry an employer’s declaration. In some cases, no form is required. More information . More than 95% of people in the Netherlands are respecting the curfew. Introducing the curfew and limiting visitors to a maximum of one per day have slowed the spread of the virus. Studies show that the reproduction number (R) has fallen by about 10%.

Going forward

On Tuesday 23 February, the government will decide whether to modify the current lockdown measures, including the curfew. The curfew will be lifted before 3 March if developments concerning coronavirus give reason to do this.

Support package to limit impact on social and mental wellbeing

Coronavirus and the measures being taken to limit its spread are clearly having a major impact on people's social and mental wellbeing, as well as on people’s way of life. The government is currently working on a broad package of measures to limit the impact on vulnerable groups. Broadly speaking, this includes:
  • local and national activities to improve the wellbeing of young people
  • initiatives to support vulnerable adults
  • extra efforts to help people adopt a healthier lifestyle.
The government wants to align this support package as much as possible with existing initiatives being undertaken by municipalities, national and local organisations, volunteers and cultural entrepreneurs. The government will present further details in the near future.   Read more: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/curfew  
Photo by  on Unsplash
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Snow storm Darcy batters the Netherlands, disrupting rail and road traffic
The Netherlands woke up to wintry scenes on Sunday, with a layer of snow covering most of the country apart from the far south and north. The snow and strong winds are expected to continue for most of the day, but it could be well into evening before it stops in the north, weather forecasters say. The transport ministry’s roads authority has sprayed 17 million kilos of salt on the roads since Saturday evening in an effort to keep them clear. Nevertheless, there have been a string of accidents due to the difficult conditions and the slip road between the A15 and the A4 was closed for a time after a lorry jack-knifed. The ANWB motoring organisation is recommending people stay home unless their journeys are absolutely necessary. Problems on the railways have led to all trains being cancelled until midday at least. A spokesman for rail operator Prorail said the blizzard was making it difficult to fix problems as they occur. ‘We are trying to release the points from the snow, but as soon as they are clear, they are covered up again,’ one railway engineer said. Eindhoven airport has also closed and the handful of incoming flights expected are being diverted to Cologne. Schiphol airport is recommending travellers check with their airline and warns there may be delays. Read more at DutchNews.nl: https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2021/02/snow-storm-darcy-batters-the-netherlands-disrupting-rail-and-road-traffic/
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Negative COVID-19 test required for entry into Sweden

The Government today decided that foreign nationals will have to present a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection upon entry into Sweden, regardless of where they are arriving from. The aim is to reduce the risk of spreading the new variants of the COVID-19 virus that have been detected in a number of countries.

On 29 January, the Government received a pro­posal from the Public Health Agency of Sweden, requesting a government decision requiring foreign nationals to present a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection before they are permitted to enter Sweden, with any exemptions that the Government might decide. The background to this is that new variants of the COVID-19 virus have recently been detected, and that it is currently difficult to fully determine in which countries the variants are prevalent. The Government sent the proposal to the Swedish Police Authority, the Swedish Coast Guard and the Swedish Migration Agency under an accelerated consultation procedure. At the same time, the EU has presented new recommendations for travel restrictions due to COVID-19. Following very intensive preparations, the Government today approved a general entry ban for foreign nationals who cannot present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival in Sweden. As a general rule, the test must not be more than 48 hours old. Foreign nationals aged 18 and older are subject to the test requirement, with the exception of certain categories of travellers so as to ensure that there are no unintended consequences. The regulations differ depending on whether a person is travelling from a third country or from an EU or Schengen country. There are also separate regulations for travel from Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom. However, the common feature is an exemption from the test requirement for people under the age of 18, those who live in Sweden and staff in the transport sector. “Today’s decision is important to reduce the influx of the new variants of the virus that have been detected in several countries. According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden, there is considerable uncertainty surrounding the new variants, and even if they have now spread to some extent in Sweden, it is important that we take this step, which will reduce the risk of further spread,” says Minister for Home Affairs Mikael Damberg. The regulations will enter into force on 6 February, i.e. at midnight on Friday, and will apply up to and including 31 March. Today’s decision does not affect the period of validity of the temporary entry ban to the EU via Sweden, which still applies until 31 March.   For more information:
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Welcome New Interns for the spring term 2021
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce are very pleased to welcomes two  new interns for the spring term 2021!
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