The busi­ness end

Amsterdam Business Travel Guide - - AMSTERDAM -

Reg­u­larly scor­ing highly in the city in­dices for its live­abil­ity and eco­nomic sta­bil­ity, Am­s­ter­dam is the world’s lead­ing ex­porter of cut flow­ers; in­clud­ing its fa­mous tulips, plants and trees. A vi­tal con­trib­u­tor to the Nether­lands’ over­all agri-food busi­ness, sec­ond only to the US in terms of ex­port of food and other farm-re­lated busi­nesses, the city’s port is the world’s most im­por­tant for co­coa beans; han­dling a quar­ter of global pro­duc­tion an­nu­ally. Fur­ther­more, the city’s Heineken brew­ery, which brews 171.7 mil­lion hec­tolitres of beer ev­ery year, is the world’s third largest.

A re­cent sur­vey that com­bined the Econ­o­mist In­tel­li­gence Unit’s an­nual global city rank­ings with other fac­tors in­clud­ing prox­im­ity to UNESCO her­itage sites and con­nec­tiv­ity to the rest of the world saw Am­s­ter­dam come sec­ond only to Hong Kong.

The Dutch cap­i­tal is also strong in the chem­i­cal sec­tor and is home to the head­quar­ters of global pow­er­house, Ak­zoNo­bel. The Com­pany is lo­cated in Zuidas, Am­s­ter­dam’s key busi­ness district, oc­cu­pied by some 700 busi­nesses; ri­valling the size of Lon­don’s Ca­nary Wharf. Else­where, there are sev­eral smaller busi­ness dis­tricts in the cen­tre, with Am­stelplein the home of tech­nol­ogy Com­pany, Philips for ex­am­ple.

Although the Dutch are easy-go­ing and re­laxed in pri­vate, they have a very pro­fes­sional busi­ness man­ner and the ma­jor­ity speak very good English. “There is no beat­ing around the bush in busi­ness ne­go­ti­a­tions, as your Dutch con­tacts will of­ten cut right to the chase. Ex­pats who are used to a more in­di­rect way of in­ter­act­ing may con­sider this a bit rude at first. How­ever, once you’re used to it, it doesn’t leave much room for mis­un­der­stand­ings... Ti­tles and for­mal­i­ties are of­ten dropped af­ter the first in­tro­duc­tion. In­stead, talk­ing on a first-name ba­sis is the rule,” sum­marised in­ter­na­

“Although the Dutch are easy­go­ing and re­laxed in pri­vate, they have a very pro­fes­sional busi­ness man­ner and the ma­jor­ity speak very good English”

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