Netherlands Business Support Offices (NBSO)
Netherlands Business Support Offices (NBSOs) comprise
a network of 22 offices in 9 countries, set up by the Ministry of Economic
Affairs (via NL Agency) specifically to support Dutch businesses in their
international activities. Increasing global demand for products and services
presents Dutch exporters and investors with good opportunities. The NBSOs are particularly effective in supporting small and
medium-size enterprises (SMEs). NBSOs
have no diplomatic status, are dedicated exclusively to the promotion of Dutch
trade and investment and their activities are coordinated by the local embassies.
Each NBSO is staffed by two individuals; a Chief Representative who is fluent in Dutch as well as the local language (and often English too); and a local employee, the Deputy Representative, who is fluent in the local language and in English. Generally, the Chief Representative has a background in international trade in the private sector.
An NBSO office can assist you with the following services:
Responding to trade requests
For this service, the first port-of-call is the Country Officer at the headquarters of NL Agency in The Hague, the Netherlands. If more specific and detailed local information is required in order to fulfill these requests, which is exclusively available overseas, then this information is subsequently acquired through the NBSO.
Business Partner Scan
This service involves a scan of the potential overseas market for a particular Dutch business. It assesses the feasibility of marketability of products/services in overseas markets and whether or not specific regulations exist for such marketability. Additionally, it provides an overview of trade shows, trade magazines and websites relevant to the particular sector. The purpose of all this is to furnish Dutch businesses with information relating to the best representation method in the country concerned (independent representation, agent, distributor, own office). Subsequently, assistance is provided for the identification and establishment of initial trade contacts. In implementing the rest of the strategy, the NBSO supports entrepreneurs via referrals to both Dutch and local experts who operate commercially.
Economic and trade missions
NBSOs support Dutch organisations in the planning of collective trade activities such as market orientation trips, incoming trade delegations (whether or not under direction of a government official and whether or not with a separate matchmaking programme) and collective trade show participation. Many of these missions are initiated by cities or provinces.
Dutch products and services are highlighted and promoted via the targeted mailing of Made in
Identification of market opportunities
NBSOs investigate possible opportunities for Dutch business in overseas markets and subsequently communicate these via short articles on the website www.agentschapnl.nl/evdinternationaal and in the monthly publication BuitenlandseMarkten (Overseas Markets). In this manner, NBSOs function as the ‘eyes and ears’ of Dutch commerce with respect to overseas markets. Dutch businesses can keep abreast of these potential opportunities via e-mail subscription to the messaging service of NL EVD International.
NBSOs operate under the direction of NL Agency. Together with other NBSOs in the same country, and with the economic departments of the embassy and consulates general, they form the economic network for that particular country.