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Iran business delegation explores opportunities in The Netherlands

On 12 May 2016, a top delegation of Iranian businessmen and project developers visited The Hague to meet with Dutch companies in order to explore potential future partnerships during the Iran-Netherlands Business Forum. The forum marked the first official inbound business delegation from Iran to The Hague since the recent lift of EU sanctions in January 2016. The event was organized by the Netherlands Council for Trade Promotion (NCH), the European Institute for Law and Business (EILB) and the Hague Center of Law and Arbitration (HCLA), in cooperation with the WestHolland Foreign Investment Agency (WFIA).

Marleen Zuijderhoudt, Executive Director of WFIA, delivered the word of welcome. In her speech, she underlined the business opportunities for Iranian companies in the Netherlands, mentioning the open economic structure, focus on innovation and the strategic location – better known as the ‘Gateway to Europe and “Gateway to the World’ – as important factors for future success. Afterwards, NCH delivered a presentation highlighting the economical, financial and monetary advantages of internationalization, the Dutch economic structure and why The Netherlands is the ideal partner for Iran. WFIA presented a further insight on key sectors and an outline on how the organization can be instrumental in facilitating a “soft landing” for Iranian companies in The Hague. Furthermore, recent trends and future opportunities were discussed during an interactive session.

Iran Netherlands Business Forum 2016

Image: opening speech by Marleen Zuijderhoudt, Executive Director of the WestHolland Foreign Investment Agency (WFIA).

In the afternoon, companies from both Iran and the Netherlands met during a sector-specific matchmaking program including fields of interest such as construction, water management, oil & gas, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture and horticulture. The plenary session was opened by Mr. Haakma, Chairman of the Board of NCH, who was followed by Dr. Jamali, Director General for Foreign Investment of the Iranian Ministry of Economy.

Iran Netherlands business Forum 2

Image: from left to right: Marleen Zuijderhoudt, Executive Director WFIA; Dewanand Mahadew, Manager Knowledge Management NCH; H.E. Dr. Jahangiri, Ambassador of I.R. Iran.

 The matchmaking program during the Iran-Netherlands Business Forum on May 12 was part of a 2-day program for the inbound delegation. During this matchmaking approximately 25 projects that are ready for implementation were presented and discussed with the Dutch participants.

On Friday May 13, the delegation was further introduced to the Dutch business climate by individual programs and company visits throughout the Netherlands.

The Iranian delegation was impressed by the Dutch proposition and is looking forward to receiving Dutch companies in Iran and materialize opportunities in the different sectors.

About NCH
NCH supports and advises Dutch companies and provides access to an exclusive network, both in the Netherlands as well as in various regions of the world: Asia, Latin America, U.S., Canada, Europe, Middle East and Africa. NCH supports Dutch companies when exploring new markets and expanding and improving the existing international activities through collective activities and company specific activities and offers Dutch companies a valuable network of fellow entrepreneurs, service providers and governments abroad and in the Netherlands.

About EILB
The European Institute for Law and Business (EILB) is an institution dedicated to conducting research and providing services in extensive fields related to international business, including, but not limited to business negotiation management, facilitation of international trade, strategic advisory services and foreign investments.

About HCLA
Hague Center for Law and Arbitration (HCLA) is an expanding network of professionals and institutions focused on providing legal and financial knowledge and services to governments, academic forums and international firms that are at the heart of global commerce and trade.

About WFIA
WFIA attracts international companies and organisations and assists them in establishing, expanding or relocating their (foreign) operations within the Greater Hague region. In addition, WFIA supports the Municipality of The Hague, The Hague Convention Bureau and The Hague Bureau for International Affairs in attracting international conferences, seminars and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). WFIA was founded in 2000 by a number of cities in The Hague region. Since 2015, WFIA has been part of ‘Invest in Holland’, the acquisition platform of the central government of the Netherlands.

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