I joined the Dutch Embassy network as Business Developer Scandinavia in August this year. I am originally from New Zealand and have spent most of the last 30 years living in various places in Europe, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom. I first moved to Gothenburg in 2001 and in total I have spent more than 10 years in Sweden. I moved back to West Sweden two years ago with my Swedish wife and two children and I am very excited about the opportunity to work for the Netherlands in my second home. Outside of work I enjoy running and participating in sports, as well as cheering on my boys from the sideline of the football pitch.
What is your professional background?
I started my career in the tourism industry promoting New Zealand to Germans, before turning to international business and trade development, which included working for a Swedish company in the health and wellbeing sector, and later New Zealand’s trade and investment promotion agency for 11 years. During this time I was based in London, Hamburg as well as a couple of years back in New Zealand.
What would you like to achieve in your assignment and how can our network help you?
My role is to identify and promote business opportunities across Sweden, Denmark and Norway where Dutch companies and institutions can establish and grow. In order to do this I need to have my ear to the ground across a number of sectors in order to pick up on trends and develop leads. To get started I am focusing on opportunities in the construction and infrastructure, energy, and logistics sectors as well as life sciences and health. Sustainable, climate-smart solutions are of particular interest.
I am part of a small Regional Business Development team with one colleague in Tallinn for Finland and the Baltics, and our director in Copenhagen who creates the links with companies in the Netherlands. We are however an integrated part of the wider Dutch Embassy network which we call the Nordic Baltic Network (NBN). This network of economic advisors across seven countries provides knowledge and experience as well as connections to Dutch companies interested in the region. I am also fortunate to have two excellent Honorary Consuls who I can talk to; Håkan Friberg in Gothenburg and Kerstin Lindell in Malmö.
However I need to broaden my reach further and I am certain the outstanding network at the Dutch Chamber will be a valuable asset. I look forward to meeting as many members as possible to hear new ideas and suggestions.
How can you help our network?
I hope to be able to contribute to the network by participating in as many Chamber events as possible. I also look forward to working alongside the regional directors in Gothenburg and Malmö with their regional activities. I am also certain we will have some very interesting people from Dutch companies to speak at events and share their stories.
Are there any events planned where it is possible to meet you?
I am based in Kungsbacka and will have a small office in Gothenburg, however I want to get out and about as much as possible and look forward to a time hopefully in the not too distant future where current restrictions can be lifted. Along with the Embassy and Dutch companies we plan to have Dutch pavilions at a number of trade exhibitions next year. Two examples are Nordbygg in Stockholm and Vitalis in Gothenburg. One particular happening to be aware of is of course Gothenburg’s 400th birthday in 2021. We had been hoping to mark this occasion and the Dutch involvement in Gothenburg’s development with a series of event next year. Unfortunately with most official activities now postponed until 2023, we will be looking at some other way to celebrate this important milestone before the big party takes place in two years’ time.