Brexit information desk for businesses
The Dutch government is opening an information desk for businesses to answer questions on the consequences of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. This was announced today by Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, following a meeting with Dutch business leaders.
Together with economic affairs minister Henk Kamp, Ms Ploumen discussed the impact of Brexit with a number of companies and organisations, including the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), SME association MKB-Nederland and the Dutch Federation of Agricultural and Horticultural Organisations (LTO Nederland). ‘Many companies and businesspeople have a lot of questions,’ said Ms Ploumen. ‘Will it become more difficult and expensive for them to export products? Will they have to follow different rules? Will their business partners move their operations away from the UK? They can contact the information desk for answers to all of these questions. The government would like to hear their ideas and suggestions too,’ the minister continued. ‘In the months ahead we’ll be holding more meetings, including with the industries that are likely to be the most affected by Brexit, such as mineral extraction, manufacturing and agriculture.’ The information desk can be contacted via the HollandUKTrade website or by phoning +31 (0)88 042 4242.
Ms Ploumen also said that extra staff will be sent to the Dutch embassy and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency in London to promote the interests of Dutch companies to the greatest extent possible. ‘The government is committed to serving the interests of our business community,’ the minister said. ‘We want to do our best to limit the negative effects of Brexit and get the most out of the positive effects.’ Ms Ploumen emphasised that the government’s priority now is to ensure a carefully prepared and transparent exit process: ‘Stability and clarity are essential for businesses.’
The UK is the EU’s second-biggest economy and a key trading partner for the Netherlands. In 2015 Dutch exports to the UK exceeded €38 billion, and imports from the UK totalled €21 billion. In terms of earnings the UK is the Netherlands’ second most important export destination after Germany.