May 31, 2024

September 2023 - The trade mission is intended to get to know Portugal and make connections between Dutch and Portuguese entrepreneurs and trading partners. How to start a business in Portugal, what are the benefits and what (cultural) differences need to be taken into account? “In my view, the trade mission is a good way to get to know a country that, like the Netherlands, has ambitions in terms of sustainable energy, technology, tourism, real estate and healthcare,” explains Monique Oosterveld, Director of Operations and Projects at the World Trade Center Twente. “Lisbon, which has put itself on the map in recent years as the capital for start-ups and scaling-up companies, is perfect for this.”

In collaboration with the World Trade Center location in Lisbon and the Dutch embassy in Portugal, a full and diverse program was put together for the group of entrepreneurs from the Netherlands. For example, a visit was made to the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, Invest Lisboa and IAPMEI, which facilitates entrepreneurs through the Portuguese government. Here it became clear how strong the (trade) relationship is between Brazil and Portugal and in what ways Portugal is a gateway to and from South America. Discussions also took place with female entrepreneurs who are already doing business in Portugal. “Very inspiring to hear from other entrepreneurs what it is like to start a business outside the Netherlands,” says Silvanna van Graven, owner of Van Graven Finance & Advice.

In addition to an explanation about Portugal's attractive business climate for entrepreneurs, there was an inspiring presentation by Eurico Nobre, Professor of Strategic Marketing at AESE Business School and Visiting Professor of the Executive MBA at Krakow University of Economics, about marketing and Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, a public university in the Portuguese capital. The Dutch embassy in Lisbon received the group in the official residence for lunch. For Ariane Braam-Verkoren, who works at FRISS, this is one of the highlights of the program. “It is very nice to see the embassy's involvement in Dutch entrepreneurship,” she says. “Interesting to hear how efforts are being made to achieve optimal trade relations between the two countries.”

In addition to gaining knowledge about doing business with and in Portugal and exchanging experiences, there is an opportunity during the trade mission to enjoy all the beauty that Lisbon has to offer. “The trade mission provides plenty of space to network and explore business opportunities in Portugal,” says Sabine Jurriën, director of Ad Fontem. “But the fact that this takes place in this environment also creates a feeling of holiday.” To strengthen and maintain that feeling in the Netherlands, the mission ends with a visit to the Quinta da Atela vineyard where the trade mission ends in the Portuguese way.