Prinsjesdag 2023: The new Dutch Government Budget
Today, on Prinsjesdag, the Netherlands witnessed a pivotal moment in its political calendar as the Dutch government unveiled its budget for the year ahead. This annual tradition takes place in The Hague, with the King delivering a speech. The day outlines the government's financial priorities and policy agenda for the coming year. This year's budget presentation was closely watched, with a focus on, for instance, energy, defense and security, housing, transport, healthcare, education, and measures to address pressing social issues. As the nation anticipates the details, Prinsjesdag serves as a symbolic and practical reminder of the government's role in shaping the future of the Netherlands. Swedish Chamber member Public Matters writes the following: "On Budget Day (known as ‘Prinsjesdag’), the third Tuesday of September, the Dutch government announces its plans and ambitions for the coming year. Traditionally, the King is first to present the plans in his annual King’s Speech (‘Troonrede’). This year (yesterday – 19 September), the current caretaker Cabinet of Prime Minister Rutte presented its 2024 budget of a total of 433,6 billion euros, including a deficit of 30,7 billion euros. Key measures include a 2 billion euro plan to boost purchasing power and prevent more households from falling into poverty, and higher taxes for wealthier households and smaller businesses. After yesterday’s presentation, a cycle of parliamentary debates will follow. The budgets of all ministries must be approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate, but it’s yet unclear whether this will happen before or after the upcoming national elections on 22 November this year." Read more about the details of the Dutch Government Budget for the upcoming year on Public Matter's website .  
A crucial dialogue on diversity’s strengthening role in tech companies
In collaboration with SKF, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce was proud to host the third Tech Table event, titled ‘Diversity in Tech,’ on September 14, 2023, at SKF Netherlands in Houten. This event represented a unique fusion of our popular Swedish Chamber Tech Table series and our Diversity & Inclusion Breakfast series. The overarching goal of the Diversity & Inclusion Breakfast series is to inspire and empower business leaders to foster inclusive and diverse work environments. During the event, it was recognized that diverse and inclusive teams are not only instrumental in innovative problem-solving but also in attracting top talent and ensuring long-term profitability for tech companies. Hence, delving into these critical topics was imperative for the success, growth, and well-being of tech enterprises. A special highlight of the event was the presence of the esteemed keynote speakers, Annika Ölme and Dr. Cara Antoine, who offered their invaluable perspectives on diversity, drawing from their personal experiences as two CTOs in leading international companies. They also highlighted interesting research about the positive impacts that proactive diversity initiatives bring to tech companies:
“You have 20 percent more innovation and 30 percent less risk in a diverse company.” – Annika Ölme “The need for role models, allyship, and visibility are key features in incorporating diversity in tech. Think about how you can shine a spotlight on the perhaps hidden figures in your organizations. Invite them, network with them, select them, mix.” – Dr. Cara Antoine
Read more about the event .
Welcome Vahlkamp, our new corpote member!
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce are proud to introduce Vahlkamp as our distinguished new corporate member, and excited to have them enrich our expansive network. Valhkamp focus on care technology, and describe the following: "Vahlkamp has been active in the development and production of wireless alarm systems for the needy in society for almost 40 years. In our business philosophy, we constantly strive making ideal combinations between simplicity, functionality and affordability; products that matter, always based on the idea that safety, rest and trust are core values ​​when it comes to helping the most vulnerable groups in our society. Vahlkamp is committed to developing products based on specific questions from the target group." Read more about Vahlkamp on.
18 September: Day of Allemansrätten – Sweden’s unique Right to Public Access
Information from  "The Right of Public Access" or "Allemansrätten" as we call it, gives everyone the freedom to roam and explore the beauty of our country. As long as you don't disturb and don't destroy, you are welcome to enjoy Sweden's nature as much as you want. The Right of Public Access is a principle, protected by the law, that gives all people in Sweden the freedom to roam free in nature. Sleep on mountaintops, by the lakes, in quiet forests or beautiful meadows. Take the kayak out for a spin or experience the wildlife firsthand. Pick berries, mushrooms and flowers from the ground – all completely free of charge. The only thing you have to pay, is respect for nature and the animals living there. The freedom to roam in Sweden means that you have the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp on any land with the exception of private gardens, near a dwelling house or land under cultivation. We call it 'Allemansrätten'. Literally, it translates to "The all mans right" which means that everyone has the right to roam in the Swedish nature. The Right of Public Access is a unique right, but with this right comes responsibilities – to take care of nature and wildlife and to show consideration for landowners and for other people enjoying the countryside. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sums up the Right of Public Access in the phrase 'Don’t disturb – Don’t destroy'. Keep these words in mind when exploring the Swedish nature. Read more on . Photo Credits: Ulf Lundin/ 
Welcome our new member Ebke!
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce is very proud to introduce the new corporate member EBKE as a valuable addition to our extensive network! EBKE is an innovative company producing sustainable E-bikes. They state the following: EBKE E-Bikes: Revolutionizing Urban Commuting: In an era where environmental concerns are at the forefront of global discussions, EBKE E-Bikes is leading the way in transforming urban commuting. This innovative company, established in 2016 and now based in Norrköping, has made it its mission to provide sustainable and efficient transportation solutions through electric bicycles. With a commitment to quality, design, and affordability, EBKE E-Bikes has gained a reputation as a trailblazer in the e-bike industry. A Commitment to Sustainability: EBKE E-Bikes is acutely aware of the environmental challenges that cities face today. Traffic congestion, air pollution, and fossil fuel dependence have created a pressing need for eco-friendly transportation alternatives. E-bikes have emerged as a sustainable option, and EBKE is at the forefront of this movement. One of the key advantages of e-bikes is their low environmental impact. They produce zero emissions and significantly reduce the carbon footprint of urban commuting. With EBKE E-Bikes, riders can enjoy the freedom of two-wheeled transport without contributing to pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. Innovative Technology and Design:  At the heart of EBKE's success lies its commitment to innovative technology and design. The company's e-bikes are equipped with cutting-edge electric motor systems that provide a seamless and effortless riding experience. Whether you're conquering steep hills or cruising through city streets, EBKE's e-bikes offer a smooth and enjoyable journey. For more detailed insights into EBKE, please visit their website .
King Carl XVI Gustaf celebrates 50 years on the throne!
This week signifies King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 50th year on the throne. At the same time, the year 2023 marks 500 years since Gustav Vasa was elected king of Sweden – an election that laid the foundation of Sweden as an independent state. Congratulations to both King Carl XVI Gustaf and Sweden! writes the following about the celebrations: "'For Sweden – with the times.'This is the motto of King Carl XVI Gustaf, Sweden's current monarch. Armed with the ambition to serve his country in a manner always suitable to the present, he ascended to the Swedish throne on 15 September 1973. This year, as the seventh monarch of the House of Bernadotte and the longest reigning monarch in Swedish history, King Carl XVI Gustaf celebrates 50 years on the throne. To mark this occasion, King Carl XVI Gustaf is paying visit to all 21 of Sweden’s regions during the months leading up to the anniversary day. These visits, which he makes together with Queen Silvia, are an opportunity to meet with the people.". Read more about the anniversary celebrations on's website .   Photo credits: Mona Loose/, Peter Knutson/Kungl Hovstaterna
Booming business climate for Swedish companies in the Netherlands
On September 7, 2023, the Business Climate Survey 2023 for the Netherlands was launched at the Swedish Embassy in The Hague, in collaboration with the Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Team Sweden. The survey measures the economic outlook, industry trends, success factors, local conditions, and opportunities for Swedish companies in the Netherlands and how they compare to global results. “The Business Climate Survey deepens our understanding of the current business climate in the Netherlands and gives us a sound basis for the continued business dialogue. The Swedish–Dutch business relations run deep, which is reflected in the optimism felt by Swedish companies here”, said Ambassador Johannes Oljelund while opening the launch. Håkan Jevrell, the State Secretary for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade underlined that the Swedish and Dutch markets share common features with a high level of innovation, technology, digitalization, and sustainability. “This presents further possibilities for deeper and broader business relations between Sweden and the Netherlands”. State Secretary Jevrell also encouraged Swedish companies to continue promoting the benefits of doing business in the Netherlands: “This report shows that the Netherlands is a shining example of how things could and should be for Swedish companies abroad. I’m very confident that the Netherlands will remain an important trade partner for Sweden. The strategic location, and high level of innovation and digitalisation, also make it a stepping stone for entering new markets for many Swedish companies”. Kerstin Gerlagh, managing director of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce presented the Business Climate Survey 2023 for the Netherlands and highlighted some of the key findings:
  • Swedish companies in the Netherlands rate the business climate in the Netherlands 4.5 out of 5 which ranked the Netherlands first in Europe and third globally.
  • In 2022, an impressive 83% of Swedish companies in the Netherlands reported profitability, surpassing the global average of 68%. This was the highest profitability rank globally, together with Brazil.
  • The Netherlands has the highest environmental and sustainability interest from customers globally, together with the UK and Germany. In the Netherlands, the rate is at 87%.
  • 34% of the responding Swedish companies report to have between 20-50% female staff in their management teams.
  You can download the BCS the Netherlands 2023 report , and the Global BCS 2023 report . The following panel of experts spoke at the event:
  • Håkan Jevrell: State Secretary for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade (online)
  • Johannes Oljelund: Ambassador of Sweden in the Netherlands
  • Everth Flores: CEO at Ericsson Netherlands
  • Bas Dubois: Managing Director at Benelux Volvo Buses
  • Tomas Korseman: Trade & Invest, Commissioner of Sweden to Benelux at Business Sweden
  • Patrick Blankers: Policy Director Sustainability at Ericsson Netherlands
  • Kerstin Gerlagh: General Manager at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce
  In the panel discussion that followed, Swedish companies based in the Netherlands elaborated on the following themes: Sustainability: That sustainability means a lot to the Dutch customer is no surprise for Swedish companies, and many of them are confident that their Swedish roots help them to deliver on that promise. “Maybe not everyone realizes it, but Swedish companies here have a very significant presence in sectors such as energy, mobile traffic, and transportation. Our Swedish values and strive for sustainability do add to the success Swedish companies experience in the Dutch market”, on company representative underlined.   Finding talent: The survey showed that one of the few challenges Swedish companies in the Netherlands have is finding talent not least female talent in the tech sector. One suggestion was to involve school pupils to get to know tech from an early age and what it actually means to society today.   Housing: Companies recognized the difficulty in finding affordable housing in the Netherlands when having to attract talent from abroad. “Why should talents come to the Netherlands when the cost of living is so high?” one company representative said, adding one suggested solution: “We don’t move them any longer – we work online”.   Conclusion: The conditions in the Netherlands are very good for Swedish companies. Swedish values mean added value when attracting customers and talent. Sweden is leading witin equality, innovation, sustainability, and design. Sharing Swedish values more both internally and externally can help boost business even further.   About the Business Climate Survey The Business Climate Survey is an initiative that seeks to identify the opportunities and challenges Swedish companies face when conducting business worldwide. This year marks the survey’s third consecutive year in the Netherlands. The survey was distributed to a selective sample of 170 local executives representing Swedish companies, with 47 providing answers, leading to a 28 percent response rate. The answers were collected between March 13th and April 4th, 2023. We extend our sincere gratitude to the participating companies and respondents who have contributed to the survey. Their invaluable input has made it possible to present an accurate and insightful assessment of the Dutch market.
Upcoming Events
Join us this fall for the following exciting events!   Dive into Diversity in Tech with our Tech Table x Diversity & Inclusion Breakfast collab on September 14, 2023. Reconnect and kick off the fall semester at the Young Professional Season Opening in collaboration with Stromma on September 20, 2023. Learn about Swedish-Dutch Business Culture at Young Professional Meet Vattenfall on October 12, 2023. Join us to learn about the positive benefits of Nordic Outdoor Living at the #Nordictalks2023 on October 28, 2023.