Post-read DBAV Online Roundtable: COVID-19: Navigating to a new normal

In this interactive panel discussion:

  • Mrs. Elsbeth Akkerman, ambassador of the Netherlands to Vietnam,
  • Edo Offerhaus, managing director of NLInBusiness and
  • Jacco van der Linden, chair of DBAV and managing director Heineken Vietnam

Discussed how Dutch companies and entrepreneurs in Vietnam are navigating to a “new normal” post-Corona and what this means about international trade between The Netherlands and Vietnam.  More than 60 DBAV-members and others participated in the webinar and actively joined the chat and polls.

It can be concluded that participants and panelists agreed on the strong trade relations between the Netherlands and Vietnam and that they believe it will remain so. Nearly 8 out of 10 respondents think that Vietnam will come out as an economic winner of the COVID-19 crisis. New opportunities can be found when for instance focusing on existing local concerns like environment, health, and circular economy.

The Dutch business community believes it is ready for the ‘new normal’, which may actually be two new normals: one with COVID-19 and one post-COVID-19. It requires them to be agile and the be able to move between scenarios.

In the Netherlands, an agenda has been made for the re-start of international trade, and NLinBusiness together with partners like the embassy and the DBAV are ready to implement this agenda and support entrepreneurs with kick-starting their trade promotion activities.

Link to the restart agenda:

Some takeaways from the webinar:

  • Embassy and Consulate General have been in crisis-mode to deliver consular assistance to stranded travelers causing a temporary disruption of the trade agenda.
  • Currently, both are back to the ‘new normal’ navigating through COVID-19 measures. The ratification of the EU/Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is a clear token of the strive of Vietnam to remain an open economy.
  • The already existing concerted action of the Embassy/CG together with a.o. NLinBusiness and DBAV will be continued in order to assist and support Dutch entrepreneurs and businesses.
  • Foreign companies in Vietnam have been occupied with value chain disruptions and managing cash flows. Looking forward: the new normal will not be normal. Entrepreneurs are facing two new normals: one with COVID-19 and one post-COVID-19.
  • It requires them to be agile and to be able to move quickly between scenarios. More than 8 out of 10 say they are ready for this.
  • We will see changing consumer behavior, new travel norms, different safety standards at work, and a necessity to be prepared for different scenarios; V, W, or L shaped.
  • Dutch industry and business representatives have been preparing a crisis-agenda that has been shared with the Minister for Development Cooperation and international trade. The key focus is on restoring the integrated supply chains, export credit insurance and to start post-Corona international trade promotion. NLinBusiness will take a leading role in its implementation and re. Vietnam will work closely with RVO, the Dutch Embassy, and DBAV.  
  • For entrepreneurs, it is of paramount importance to keep the borders and markets open and to be able to join small trade missions or connect digitally to re-start their international trade promotion again.
  • Conclusion: trade relation with Vietnam is strong and will remain so. Vietnam is continuing to be an interesting investment opportunity. A lot of goodwill can be created in focusing on already existing local concerns like environment, health, and circular economy.

Watch the full webinar here

If you want to know more about the above topic or what the embassy, DBAV or NLinBusiness can do for you, please contact: