Dear INBA Members,
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year. I hope that you have returned from the holidays with renewed energy to meet the challenges of the year ahead.
In fact, the challenges faced by businesses both in Ireland and the Netherlands, are similar to those at the beginning of last year. Although we now know that Britain will leave the EU at the end of January we are no closer to knowing what type of trade deal the UK and EU will negotiate and the possibility of a no deal Brexit remains. This creates great uncertainty for future trade between our countries and the UK, especially in the area of fresh products: of dairy, meat, fruit and vegetables, flowers and plants. Should the UK exit the EU customs union, then we will face many logistical challenges in the trade between our two countries. The outcome of the US China trade talks, currently looking positive, will also impact on the economic environment in which we all operate.
This uncertainty creates an even greater need for us to connect our Irish and Dutch business partners so that together we can explore opportunities for increased trade, discuss common problems, and learn from each other’s experiences. The Ireland Netherlands Business Association provides such a forum, connecting Irish and Dutch business people and organizations through our programme of formal events and through our social media channels.
Our 2020 programme starts with the AGM on February 6th at 8:30 and will be followed by an informal New Year’s drinks reception from 19:00 in the Irish Residence, in Wassenaar, by kind invitation of our Patron, the Ambassador of Ireland to the Netherlands, Mr. Kevin Kelly. Please also save March 19th when we will hold our St Patrick’s day dinner in the Grand Sofitel Hotel in Amsterdam.
I thank all our members for their commitment and support in 2019 and I look forward to welcoming you at our events in 2020.