The trip is open to companies in the life sciences, marine and manufacturing industries
To capitalize on a growing Dutch economy and the Sunshine State’s existing business relationship with the Netherlands, the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation and Enterprise Florida will host a trip to the European country for 10 businesses in November.
The idea is to allow Bradenton-area companies to learn about what it would take to do business in the Netherlands or Europe, said Sharon Hillstrom, president and CEO of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation. Companies that already do business there can also benefit from the trip, she said.
The trip will take place Nov. 14-15. It’s open to up to 10 companies in the life sciences, marine and manufacturing industries.
Interested companies can choose from one of two packages. The Gold Key Package, which costs $1,500 for one representative and $300 for additional company representatives, includes one-and-a-half days of scheduled one-on-one appointments with interested, prescreened Dutch or Belgian companies and ground transportation and admission to all mission events. The Delegate Package, which is $300 per person, allows companies to schedule their own individual appointments and activities.
All participants will be responsible for their own travel arrangements and a group discounted hotel rate is available.
Hillstrom said the Netherlands was chosen because of the existing trade relationship between the country and the state of Florida. The Netherlands is Florida’s 15th largest export market — $1.1 billion of merchandise was shipped there from Florida in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Dutch economy grew by an estimated 2.6% in 2018, above the average for Euro-area countries, according to the International Monetary Fund.
“Providing (companies) with an opportunity to go to the country and understand what they have to do to export products is helpful to them. We encourage all companies to consider exporting their products internationally,” Hillstrom said.
In the past, the Bradenton Area EDC has gone on trade missions to Panama and Spain to help Manatee County businesses grow as well as encouraging foreign companies to consider the Bradenton area as a place to do business.
Manatee County has the International Trade Hub incubator at Port Manatee, where foreign companies can learn about what it’s like to do business here for a relatively low investment. Six companies the EDC established relationships with on the Spain trip came to the international trade hub, Hillstrom said.
“For a company moving from a foreign country to us, it takes a long time and a lot of work to cultivate that relationship,” she said. “Part of our job when companies are looking to come here is to make sure we’re by their side to walk them through the process.”
More information is available on the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation’s website https://bradentonareaedc.com/bradenton-area-edc-export-mission-to-the-netherlands/.