#NordicTalks – No time to waste!

On October 10, 2017, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce hosted together with the Finnish Dutch Chamber of Commerce, the Danish Dutch Business Club and four of the respective Nordic Embassies, the annual Nordic Business Forum, #NordicTalks, where the agenda was the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Thank you to everyone that participated and made this afternoon an inspirational and forward-thinking forum for Sustainable Development.

Thank you to our inspiring speakers and moderator: Johanna Lund Rockliffe, Enact Richard Westlake, AkzoNobel Charlotte Wolff-Bye, Statoil Rob Wolters, Ericsson Hannie Stappers, ROCKWOOL NL Robert A. Taylor, UPM Raflatac Annelien van Meer, Enact   And to our Embassies Embassy of Sweden in The Hague Royal Norwegian Embassy in The Hague Embassy of Denmark in the Netherlands Embassy of Finland in The Hague  

Also, a special thank you to our sponsor Stena Line and to our collaboration partner Northern Delight. Thank you Vitamin Well ABTony's Chocolonely and Wasa Nederland for providing snacks in the break.


Welcome to click here to see all of the photos from the event!

Parties agree coalition government after a record 209 days!

Today the new centre-right coalition presented its programme – and the new cabinet is expected to be installed 26 October

Today the four-party coalition (VVD/Liberal Conservatives, CDA/Christian Democrats, D66/Liberal Democrats and ChristenUnie/Christian Conservatives) has presented its coalition agreement ‘Trust in the future’ (‘Vertrouwen in de toekomst').

Now the process of appointing ministers will begin and the new centre-right cabinet, the third to be headed by prime minister Mark Rutte - is expected to be installed on 26 October. The new cabinet will have 16 ministers, 8-9 junior ministers and include new ministries, among which a minister of Climate & Energy, a minister of Agriculture and a minister of Immigration & Integration. The new coalition will have a majority of just one in the fragmented 13-party, 150-seat Dutch parliament and its ability to survive a four-year term is likely to prove the toughest test yet of Rutte’s consensus-building skills. Key elements of the agreement include:
  • The 15% dividend tax will be repealed to attract foreign business and decrease administrative red tape for Dutch business.
  • The income tax system will be changed by cutting the number of tax bands from four to two from 2019.
  • The rate at which mortgage holders can deduct interest from tax will be reduced.
  • The amount paid in asset taxes will be cut by increasing the tax-free limit from €25,000 to €30,000. Assets include savings, shares, art and second homes.
  • The lower value-added tax rate of 6% will be increased to 9%. The lower rate applies to food, books and entertainment and will add €20 a month to the average family’s grocery and entertainment bill.
  • The basic rates of corporation tax will be cut from 25% to 21% while a tax rate of 16% will be levied over the first €200,000 in profits.
  • The new cabinet will take measures against 'activist shareholders' to protect Dutch corporations from hostile takeovers.
  • So called ‘mailbox companies’ will have to pay more taxes on royalties and interest.
  • The way will be paved for the introduction of elected mayors but this not yet include drawn up plans of how to put this into reality.
  • Refugees with residency permits will no longer be able to claim welfare benefits or extra help in paying rent and health insurance for their first two years in the Netherlands.
  • A Climate Bill with legally binding goals for CO2-reduction and environmental measures will be introduced. The taxes on gas will go up, and taxes on electricity will go down.
  • The minister of Climate and Energy will negotiate a new energy agreement with stakeholders to reduce CO2-emissions. There will come an extra environmental tax on charter flights and large freight traffic will be charged a levy based on driven kilometres.
  • An extra €770m will be spent on primary teachers pay and improving working conditions.
  • It will be made easier for employers to hire new employees, by decreasing the term of continued wage paying in case of illness to a year for small bsiness up to twenty five employees.
  • €1.5 bn in extra spending on defence, €2bn extra for infrastructure, roads, public transport and bike paths.

The full text of the coalition agreement (in Dutch) is available via .

Welcome New Member, Studio Stark!

Welcome New Member, Studio Stark!

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce is very pleased to be welcoming a new member, Cecilia Götherström, Studio Stark! Studio Stark represents finding your true strenghth, from the inside out. Through the tools of yoga, nutrition plus training with kettlebells and your own bodyweight you will take the first steps on your road to Strong, or Stronger. Studio Stark works with Western scientifically verified methods, hand in hand with traditional Eastern systems, on both group and individual level. Welcome! Read more about Studio Stark by clicking on the logo
Welcome New Member!

Welcome New Member, Camilla Mattsson!

Entering the month of October we are happy to welcome a new member Camilla Mattsson, to the Swedish Chamber! Looking forward seeing you on our upcoming events and welcome Camilla!
On public demand, Are you Swedish? launches Sales Agent Recruitment Service.

On public demand, Are you Swedish? launches Sales Agent Recruitment Service.

Are you Swedish? is a Sales Consultant and PR Agency for Swedish Fashion and lifestyle brands wishing to approach the Benelux market. The agency now launches a new service, apart from sales and PR for the retailing industry, Are you Swedish? introduces a Sales Agent Recruitment Service. ”This service is a product born purely out of public demand, we are approached by so many Swedish brands looking for Benelux Sales Agents and we know so many agents that are asking us for good brands. This service is the solution to an existing problem, helping Swedish brands finding local sales agents” Hanneke de Boer, owner of Are you Swedish? explains. Working locally is key in order to really grow in a foreign market and to have a good local partner is also important when trying to catch the attention of a retailer, Hanneke de Boer points out. The Sales Agent Recruitment Service offers a matchmaking between brands and retailers where they are put together based on what the customer’s brand is and what kind of result they would like to achieve in the Dutch market. Due to Are you Swedish? extensive network, the matchmaking process, has in consideration brand image, price level, retailer portfolio etc.
A meeting with Büro Kif

A meeting with Büro Kif

Büro Kif is an interior design and architectural studio, passionate about creating gorgeous, yet functional, interiors where people love to be. The company started around seven years ago by founder and Creative director Hester Stolk. A few years after she was joined by Mia de Groot, Studio Director, Büro Kif. Hester and Mia both used to live in London and have both been living abroad for a longer period of time. Their international expertise shines through the soul of Büro Kif and the personal experience with various cultures and multi-language communication has always been important to both Hester and Mia. From conception to completion Büro Kif offers an interior design service that stretches from conception to completion. No matter if you wish to be advised regarding curtains or kitchens, Büro Kif has got you covered. The company offers the full solution from architectural interior design, including renovations, project management for the full construction process and space planning to decoration and furnishing. ”I would like to see us as the spider in the web! We want to serve anyone who wants to improve their home and make that transformation happen” - Hester Stolk about Büro Kif Both Hester and Mia are very passionate about the company and the product that they offer their clients. Hester claims that what keeps her inspiration burning is the desire to create projects from scratch and to make, what might seem impossible to others, come through. While Hester has a penchant for giving the interiors an eclectic touch, whilst reflecting on the owners identity, Mia claims to have a strong focus on the psychological part of the process – a lot of effort is geared towards creating an interior that is tailored to the client’s lifestyle. A wholly hearted business A majority of Büro Kif’s clients are expats with busy everyday lives and what Büro Kif offers them is their full attention. Buro Kif takes care of everything along the way and strives for the clients lifestyle to be echoed in the interior. A dream for the future steps of Büro Kif’s journey is to establish some kind of shop, with a range of carefully selected interior products. An international approach The international background in the studio is something that has put its label on Büro Kif. No one in the office carries with them a certain national heritage, but rather a globalized and internationalized approach towards looking at businesses and brands. As Mia is originally from Sweden, she was a part of the Young Professionals network during her time spent in London. Mia experienced the network of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce to be a good network to be a part of and an easy way to reach out to people. This is also the reason why Büro Kif is a member company of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands today. Both Hester and Mia are looking forward to participating at the events hosted by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in the future and would also like to be contributing with their expertise in a creative way.
Meet the moderator for #NordicTalks, Johanna Lund Rockliffe, Enact
Last, but certainly not least, we proudly present our fantastic moderator for #NordicTalks 2017, Johanna Lund Rockliffe, Enact. Johanna Lund Rockliffe is a professional facilitator and process leader, amongst others in the Management Programmes of the Swedish Institute for international business leaders (SIMP). Johanna spent eight years as a consultant in education for sustainable development, primarily to the Swedish Council for Higher Education and its SIDA-funded programme the Global School. Johanna has worked with education related to different aspects of sustainability, as a coordinator, process leader and author of educational materials. Johanna has extensive experience of organizing training programmes in international contexts, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain and Guatemala. She has a master in Latin American studies from Cambridge University. As a moderator for #NordicTalks - No time to waste! Johanna will be steering the discussions and Q&A's during the conference, making sure that we get to the core of the topic - UN Sustainable Development Goals. With her intriguing background withing sustainable development, we feel very honored and excited to be presenting Johanna as our moderator!
Johanna Lund Rockliffe, Enact
Meet Annelien van Meer, Managing Director Enact Netherlands, speaker for #NordicTalks 2017
The countdown for the #NordicTalks 2017, on October 10, is at full speed and we are very excited to present to you Annelien van Meer, Managing Director Enact Netherlands, and speaker for the #NordicTalks 2017! About Annelien van Meer Annelien is a very experienced consultant in the area of sustainable business development, in the private as well as in the public sector. She has over ten years of experience in managing projects and programs in areas such as sustainable business, climate change, human rights and transparency. Currently, she is the Managing Director of Enact in The Netherlands, but between 2011 and 2014, she worked for Enact in Sweden, where she grew very fond of the Nordic way of doing business. Now she is supporting clients in The Netherlands to treat sustainability with the same dedication and determination as their Nordic peers do. In case you are not familiar with #NordicTalks, it is part of the Nordic Business Forum, that is being held for the fifth year in a row in Amsterdam together with the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, the Danish Dutch Business Club, the Finnish Dutch Chamber of Commerce and four of the respective Nordic Embassies. The agenda for this year's conference is "No time to Waste! The UN Sustainable Development Goals". For this discussion, we have invited six interesting and influential speakers to share their thoughts on how they work towards being sustainable and also the Ambassadors from the Nordic Countries in the Netherlands will be having a panel discussion regarding the Sustainable Development Goals.   Click here to sign up for #NordicTalks 2017 - No time to Waste!