Diplomatically the Dutch have been represented in Singapore from 1856 onwards.
Dear DutchCham members and fellow business people,
There are many similarities between the Dutch and the Singaporeans. As an Asian expat in the Netherlands once pointed out: “We both like good quality, we both like to get the best price and we both like good food.” What he did not mention is that both countries are also masters of reinvention.
Singapore and the Netherlands are age-old trading nations, logistical hubs that cater to the wider region. Both value knowledge and openness, and it is these qualities that have allowed our countries to periodically reinvent ourselves. This enables us to sustain our growth, our hub position and our reputation as a home base for successful companies. The connections between our countries are traditionally strong, our work ethic and love of innovation very similar.
Given these similarities and the ties that bind us together, it is surprising that the Dutch Chamber of Commerce has only been around for five years. But already it has established itself as the the portal to Singapore for Dutch MNC’s and SME’s, providing support, information and networking opportunities. It strengthens connections between Dutch and Singaporean businesses and is the platform of choice for those companies to come together and build together.
In the last years there has been a wealth of events and opportunities organized by DutchCham for its members and its friends. These events are noteworthy both for the high quality of speakers and information shared, and the interesting and animated conversations that follow with influential members of the business community.
Last year’s five year anniversary reception at the Ambassador’s residence was by all accounts a definite highlight for those who attended. I am very sorry to have missed that occasion as it took place before my arrival in Singapore.
Fortunately, since then I have been able to participate in other DutchCham events, such as the breakfast meeting organized in honour of former PM Jan-Peter Balkenende. I shared a table with several well-placed DutchCham members and Singaporean guests and enjoyed the animated conversation sparked by Jan-Peter Balkenende’s lecture on the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition, members of which were in the audience.
Sitting there, surrounded by the business community and hearing the talk around me, I saw a beautiful, sustainable future for business and commerce between Singapore and the Netherlands. Once again reinvention is taking place: old ways of doing business making place for new methods, based on the values that will sustain us as we make our way into tomorrow.
The past has laid a strong foundation, on which the DutchCham is building a platform to support businesses and organizations as they venture into the future. Both the nearby future as well as the far away future of unknown innovation, the future of Asia’s growing presence on the global stage with Singapore as its pivot.
DutchCham will be an excellent companion in this journey as we look forward to many more years of growth and collaboration.
Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Singapore
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
541 Orchard Road #13-00 Liat Towers
Main Tel: 65 67371155
Main Fax: 65 67371940
Main Email: email@example.com