There are several ways to get in touch with business partners. It may help to compose a profile before you start looking, asking yourself questions like: Do I want a partner who invests money?, What type of skills should my partner possess?, and Do I want to do business with a large or a small company?
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Finding business partners abroad
- Check the landeninformatie (country information, in Dutch), and get specific tips for finding customers and business partners.
- Get information from agents or contacts of colleagues operating in the same sector.
- Seek advice from advisors at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
- Get in touch with the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). They offer, among other things, access to a database of business partners, carrying profiles of thousands of companies from some 60 countries. You can also fill out your own profile.
- Register for CONNECTS, a business platform that connects bilateral chambers of commerce for over 12 countries, including the Netherlands. If you sign up via the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK before 1 November 2020, your subscription will be free. Your company does have to be registered at the KVK.
- Visit international trade shows (see Auma or Expo Database) and get in touch with potential customers. The Enterprise Europe Network organises matchmaking events at international trade shows.
- International organisations, such as banks that operate all over the world, but also the EU or the United Nations are often looking for suppliers; find out if you might offer your services.
- Take part in a trade mission (in Dutch).
- Ask the foreign network (buitenlandnetwerk, in Dutch) for support. The network can help you find your feet in international trade, investments, research, and collaboration.
- Make use of the services provided by the Centre for Improvement of Import from developing countries (CBI). The Centre connects businesses from developing countries with potential European business partners.
Set up a foreign branchAnother option is setting up a foreign branch of your company. This will simplify matters greatly: you won’t have to make special arrangements for deliveries and payments of your products. But it will take up more of your time, naturally. It will also mean higher costs.