Thecla Bodewes to be the new chair of the Dutch Trade and Investment Board

Thecla Bodewes of the Bodewes Group has been appointed the new chair of the Dutch Trade and Investment Board (DTIB), succeeding former Randstad CEO Hans Zwarts. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen commented, ‘Over the past 10 years under Hans Zwarts, the DTIB has grown into a major advisory body on strategic business practices abroad.’

The DTIB, which was founded in November 2004, is an leading partnership between the government and the private sector devoted to international business in the broadest sense of the term (import, export and investment). The aim of the DTIB is to enhance the competitiveness of Dutch businesses abroad by developing a common vision and pooling resources. Another task that the Board has gradually taken on is the provision of advice on the Netherlands’ attractiveness as a destination for foreign investment.

The DTIB is also notable for the varied backgrounds of its members, who include Ms Ploumen and Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp, the presidents of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and the Royal Association MKB-Nederland (for smaller businesses), representatives of the ‘top sectors’ of the Dutch economy, and the local and municipal authorities. Key issues include the internationalisation of the top sectors, the business climate in the Netherlands, coordination of the strategic travel agenda, internationalisation of SMEs, free trade agreements, corporate social responsibility (CSR), export financing and the aid and trade agenda.

Thecla Bodewes is the director and owner of the Bodewes Group, which runs three shipyards in the north of the country. She also sits on the Supervisory Board of the Royal Dutch Rescue Association and AMREF Flying Doctors, a Dutch healthcare organisation that operates in Africa. Within the water industry (a top sector), Ms Bodewes is responsible for implementing the human capital agenda.