Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary & Photos!
Thank you to everyone that contributed and participated in the celebrations of the YP 10 Year Anniversary on September 22, 2017!We are very happy that so many of our Young Professionals and Swedish Chamber members joined us during this magical evening, and also for inviting your friends and colleagues to share this special anniversary. The evening started with mingling and drinks, to be continued by our three main speakers Sabina Svensson, Innovation 360, Marcel Damen, Ericsson Netherlands and Cor de Haan, Filippa K. We also had TedTalk presentations by Jasper Scheffer, Klarna, and Henriette van Notten, StartupDelta. H.E. Ambassador of Sweden, Mr. Per Holmström honored us with his presence and congratulated the Young Professionals network on its 10 Year Anniversary. The evening finished off with delicious Swedish food by Northern Delight, Whiskey tasting by Mackmyra, Fashion Show by Filippa K and Music by DJ Percy! A special thank you to our main sponsors; Handelsbanken, Ericsson, Klarna, Undutchables, IKEA and Swedish Chamber for making this evening possible and for enabling us to offer it free of charge to all our guests!
Meet Robert A. Taylor, Director Sustainability, UPM Raflatac
With only three days left to sign up for this year's #NordicTalks 2017, we are excited to present to you Robert A. Taylor, Director Sustainability of UPM Paflatac as one of our speakers! About Robert Robert Taylor is a native of Scotland in the United Kingdom. Robert is a UK Chartered Forester who graduated from Scottish School of Forestry in 1994. Robert has worked 23 years for UPM, 17 of which have been based in Finland in various senior global positions in the global sustainability team. In recent years his task has been to lead a team of experts in developing strategy and supporting the UPM Raflatac business in sustainability issues related to responsible sourcing, product eco-design, factory performance, the recycling and reuse of waste and developing partnerships with a range of stakeholders including customers, suppliers, authorities, associations and NGO’s. Robert lives in the Finnish countryside with his wife and three sons. The Nordic Business Forum, #NordicTalks, is being held during the 10th of October from 16.00 - 19.00, of course, securing time to see the Swe - NL soccer game. Register for the event now, in order to secure your spot. We are looking forward to many interesting discussions and speeches about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and much more. Robert A. Taylor, Director Sustainability, UPM Raflatac
Presenting Klarna, main sponsor for Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary!
We are very excited to announce the Swedish FinTech company Klarna Netherlands as one of our main sponsors for the Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary. Thank you Klarna for supporting the Swedish Chamber Young Professionals network in the Netherlands, and making this evening happening! About Klarna Klarna was founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden with the aim of making it easier for people to shop online. In the last 12 years, technology has evolved, excited and transformed the world around us, yet our mission remains as relevant as ever, to make paying as simple, safe and above all, smooth as possible. Klarna is now one of Europe’s largest banks and is providing payment solutions for 60 million consumers across 70.000 merchants in 18 countries. Klarna offers direct payments, pay after delivery options and installment plans in a smooth one-click purchase experience that lets consumers pay when and how they prefer to. When the company acquired SOFORT in 2014 the Klarna Group was formed. Klarna is backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital, Bestseller, Permira, Visa and Atomico.
Update Dutch Politics: Prince’s Day 2017 – Government’s spending plan 2018
Prince’s Day – A day of rituals
- Today, on Prinsjesdag (‘Prince’s Day’), King Willem-Alexander officially opened the parliamentary year, presenting the government plans and ambitions for the year 2018. In addition, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the minister of Finance, presented the related budget.
- Key message was that the Netherlands is doing very well, but no major policy initiatives were announced, as the current government (which is now the longest-serving government in Dutch democratic history) is in care-taker mode since elections in March, and Prime Minister Mark Rutte is still in negotiations to form a new coalition.
- The parliament has agreed not to hold the traditional general debate on the 2018 budgets this week because these will not include controversial subjects. Instead, MPs will wait until the new cabinet presents its plans to hold a debate on general government policy.
- As soon as a coalition agreement between the four parties involved has been reached (which is expected within weeks) and the new Cabinet is in place, it will follow through on their own policy measures, which may leave the care-taker's government spending plans insignificant.
- The presentation of the budget will be followed by a cycle of parliamentary debates on the budget, which will last until the beginning of December.
- The Dutch economy is growing and we can see positive developments. More people are finding work, more people are buying homes and businesses are investing And after a number of difficult years we are again seeing a flourishing economy and healthy public finances.
- After years of decline, the economy has been growing since 2014. This year and next year, growth of 3.3% and 2.5% respectively is forecasted. Many of the relevant indicators are positive: exports, consumption and corporate investment are growing. In addition, the central government budget surplus is continuing to rise.
- Unemployment is falling rapidly and is expected to stay at 4.3% next year.
- Globalization is a fact to which we as a country must respond to. Many Dutch people are reaping the benefits. But not everyone, and not in all areas. For example, Dutch workers have to compete with workers from other countries who are not always covered by or obliged to follow the same rules.
- In Brussels the Netherlands continues to strive for a European Union that provides solutions to problems in the areas of security, migration, and climate and energy.
- Combating climate change is by definition an international task, to which every country must contribute. In the Netherlands, we are continuing to fully implement the Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth, which centers on the reduction of CO2 emissions.
- In order to better deal with the increasing risks and threats in the digital world, extra money will be made available to tackle cyber-espionage, cyber-sabotage and cybercrime.
- The full King’s speech in English can be viewed via .
- Total government income €285bn, total expenditure €277bn
- Budget surplus to reach 0.8% of GDP
- National debt to fall to 54.4% of GDP
- Economic growth will be 2.5%, compared with 3.3% this year
- On average people will have 0.6% more to spend, those in jobs will notice a 0.8% rise, those on benefits 0.3%.
- Unemployment is falling and expected to stand at 4.3%
- €435m extra for nursing homes
- €270m for primary school teacher’s pay
- €116m for digital security and counterterrorism
- €425m to increase buying power of vulnerable groups
- €25m extra for the food safety board NVWA (Dutch Foods and Consumers Authority)
- €75m extra for the tax office
- Own risk element in health insurance to rise from €385 to €400 a year
- Health benefits will rise by an average €130 a year
- The Dutch economy profits from the improved economic climate in Europe and beyond. However an open economy also brings risks if the foreign economies decline. To prevent economic downfall in times of crises the Dutch government wants to decrease the National Dept. This creates room to invest in times of need.
- The growth of the economy and the increasing number of jobs are not yet linked to a income increase. The market of flexible jobs and unused potential of labour force possibly play a role the stationary salaries.
- Next year the cabinet will invest 6.2bn in infrastructure. This will result in 268km of new highway and development of new techniques to improve traffic flow. By investing in cleaner transportation the department of Infrastructure contributes to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
- The ministries of Economic Affairs, Foreign Trade and Finance are working on national investment fund Invest-NL. This fund is meant for entrepreneurs seeking funding for investments and expansion of their business abroad. The cabinet will make 2.5bn available for the Invest-NL investment fund.
- The cabinet will structurally invest 26m for cybersecurity to increase digital security and make way for digital innovation on secure digital infrastructure. 2.5m will go to a Digital Trust Centre to support companies against cyber threats.
- The annual Tax Plan contains only measures to maintain the necessary tax infrastructure and other measures of technical nature without budgetary consequences. The coming Cabinet will present their coalition agreement with possible new tax measures.
- In summary the presented budget plan of the care-taker government will have little impact on the investment climate and business. Far more significant will be the coalition agreement between the negotiating parties.
- September 19 – Prince’s Day
- October 3-5 – Plenary debate about budget plans for the ministry of Finance
- October 24-26 – Plenary debate about budget plans for the ministry of Economic Affairs on Innovation
- November 7-9 – Plenary debate about budget plans for the ministry of Economic Affairs on Agriculture
- November 14-16 – Plenary debate about budget plans for the ministry of Foreign Affairs
- November 21-23 – Plenary debate about budget plans for the ministry of Foreign Trade and Development cooperation
- December 5 – Parliament votes on budgets and budgets get send to the Senate
- Coalition agreement – The four negotiating parties are expected to reach an agreement in the next couple of weeks. After a coalition agreement has been presented a new Cabinet can be formed. The new Cabinet will likely try to influence the budget plans to realize its own policy measures.
- Debate on the government statement and general deliberations – traditionally parliament debates about the budget proposal in the same week as Prince’s Day. This year parliament decided to postpone these debates and wait for the new Cabinet. By postponing the general deliberations parliament can debate policy changes with the new Cabinet instead of a care-taker Cabinet.
Meet Hannie Stappers, Public Affairs Director ROCKWOOL Benelux, speaker for the #NordicTalks 2017!
ROCKWOOL Benelux has received recognition for sustainability efforts in commitment to doing business in an honest and responsible way, something that has been recognized in the annual "Transparency Benchmark" report commissioned by the Dutch Government, which was published on 19 November 2015. ROCKWOOL Benelux and its operating companies were named among the top-five most sustainable companies in the Netherlands in several key sectors including construction, food, and retail. Compiled by Ernst & Young, the study offers a valuable insight into how companies carry out their corporate social responsibility activities. The results reflect the qualitative and quantitative development of large Dutch companies' efforts over time. Hannie Stappers is happy to see the company's progress being recognized: "As one of the most sustainable solutions providers in our industry, we believe that the execution of our CSR strategy gives us a real competitive advantage. What we do sustainably today is Built In to create extra value in our business tomorrow, and strengthens our position within the value chain in which we operate. It is very much about securing tomorrow's business." Among the criteria used to compile this year's ranking were: business model, financial results, management approach, reliability, responsiveness, and coherence ROCKWOOL Benelux boosted its overall performance across the board, earning 167 points out of a possible 200, an improvement of 10 points over its score in the same study last year. Hannie Stappers, Rockwool Benelux
Meet Rob Wolters, Managing Director Ericsson Netherlands, speaker for the #NordicTalks!
Rob Wolters is since November 1, 2014 the Country Manager and Managing Director of Ericsson Telecommunicatie B.V. in the Netherlands. Ericsson is a world leader in communications technology and services with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. With over 1000 employees in four offices in the Netherlands, it is providing a broad range of technology and services towards all Dutch operators, broadcasters, enterprise and government customers. A significant part of the local organization is also serving customers globally.
Rob holds a Master degree in Electrical Engineering with subject Telecommunications from the Eindhoven University of Technology. After his military service as a reserve officer at the Military Academy, he started his career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in 1994 where he worked as an IT consultant at a variety of clients (banking, food retail, pharmaceutical wholesale). Rob joined Ericsson in 1997 and has held various senior positions in the company, including Key Account Manager for Telfort, KPN and Vodafone (first in the Netherlands, then in Germany). In addition, he has a.o. been Head of the R&D unit for Service Delivery Platforms in the Netherlands. Since his return from Ericsson Germany in November 2014 he holds his current position. Besides his membership on the Board of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands he is also a member of the Advisory Board of Breinacademie/SINE, which aims to make children enthusiast for STE(A)M oriented education and to help teachers to be better equipped to teach these subjects. This fits well with his personal support to goal #4 “Quality Education” from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.
Welcome New Member!
We are very pleased to welcome our new member company of the Swedish Chamber, Hästens! Contact person is Jos de Verd, Area Sales Manager Benelux. Welcome! Click on the logo to read more about Hästens.
Update Dutch Politics – Parliamentary year kicked off with new government in sight
New government may include more ministers and major overhaul of income tax system
- At the start of the new parliamentary year, the Netherlands is still run by a care-taker government, consisting of VVD (Liberal Conservatives) and PvdA (Social Democrats) – until a new government is formed.
- It’s been 176 days since Election Day (15 March 2017), which already makes it the second longest formation period in Dutch political history.
- However, the four negotiating parties VVD (Liberal Conservatives), CDA (Christian Democrats), D66 (Liberal Democrats) and Christian Union (Christian Conservatives) are expected to reach an agreement within weeks – possibly shortly after Budget Day (19 September).
- The new government is likely to have a bigger Cabinet team with 16 ministers (the present Cabinet only has 13):
- The four parties involved in the negotiations are also considering a major overhaul of the income tax system. They are looking at abolishing two of the four tax bands and implementing a flat tax, and only high earners surpassing a certain limit would pay a different rate on their earnings.