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Blog: Want to grow your export business? The Netherlands is Canada’s ideal Gateway to Europe


The Canadian government has set an ambitious export goal: a growth of 50% by 2025. To achieve this, the upcoming years billions will be invested in improving rail and highway infrastructure, ports and supportive legislation. But how can you grow your export business in times ruled by uncertainty? Diversification. And using the Netherlands as your gateway to Europe!

2nd largest economy in the world
Traditionally the U.S. has been the largest export market for Canada. But with the current administration it is tricky to only focus your export on the U.S. For a successful export strategy, it is important to expand to other/new markets. Europe being the 2nd largest and wealthiest economy in the world, it provides you with excellent opportunities to expand your export business.

European export is supported by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada:

  • 98% of Canadian products can now enter the EU duty-free. Creating an enormous opportunity, especially for the export of agricultural and agrifood products.
  • Duplicative product testing requirements, lengthy customs procedures and costly legal fees will be avoided due to an intense cooperation on regulation. Canadian companies in a number of sectors can have their products tested and certified for the EU market in Canada itself.
  • Greater mobility for company employees made possible. The CETA facilitates temporary travel or relocation. Which makes it easier to grow your operations in Europe.

Thanks to the CETA it is easier to enter and compete in the European market. With Europe being the 2nd largest economy it provides you great export opportunities.

The Netherlands the best gateway to Europe
The UK has traditionally been a primary market for Canadian companies. Because of Brexit, however, the UK is no longer an adequate springboard to the rest of Europe. It seems inevitable that distribution from the UK to Europe will become more complicated and thus more expensive. The solution? The Netherlands! The country is known for:

  • The main entry point for overseas products, with the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam Airport as a main air freight hub.
  • Its excellent multimodal infrastructure and connection to the hinterland. The extensive network of inland terminals (both rail and barge) offer ample opportunities for logistics and production facilities.
  • Centrally located between Europe’s main markets: all major economical and industrial markets can be reached within 24 hours.
  • Its pro-business customs ensure quick transshipment throughout Europe.
  • VAT deferment, providing a substantial cash flow benefit.

Upcoming events
Canada and The Netherlands have a traditionally strong relationship. Working and supporting each other on many levels. The Consul General of the Netherlands and the Country Director Canada of the NFIA are hosting an Invest in Holland luncheon on Tuesday February 19th in Toronto. Subject: How to expand in the EU in times of CETA and Brexit – Best practices in logistics & supply chain management from The Netherlands, the Gateway to Europe. Followed by a network event at the embassy in Ottawa the following day. On both events the HIDC will be present.

Do you want to know more about your export opportunities via The Netherlands? Please send an e-mail to Stan de Caluwe.

Want to grow your export? The Netherlands is your gateway!

February 7th 2019

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Stan de Caluwe

Senior Manager Supply Chain Solutions

Contact me and let me guide you to The Netherlands for a smooth entry into the European market.

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