Students on a working visit to The Hague: getting to know the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce and the German Contact Group

Students from the Netherlands-Germany Studies (NDS) master's programme and the International Business Communication (IBC) bachelor's programme with the German track went on a working visit to The Hague. The importance of cooperation between the Netherlands and its largest trading partner Germany was discussed during two meetings at the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce (DNHK) and the Lower House's German contact group. "The talks we are having today emphasise once again how important contact with Germany is and how much we as students can mean in this in the future," concludes Stan (IBC student) at the end of an interesting and informative day.

Getting to know the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce (DNHK)
As a networking organisation and service provider, the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce (DHNK) supports German and Dutch companies wanting to do business in the neighbouring country. It comes to the rescue of language barriers and facilitates communication and contact in one's own language. In addition, the DHNK advises companies in many areas, such as tax and finance, fair trade representation, energy initiatives or export and personnel advice. An interesting export example is the cooperation with a Dutch sandwich spread brand. The brand was eager to sell its product in the German market but did not realise that the brand name was difficult for Germans to pronounce and the product did not suit the German target group. In fact, the sandwich spread was too sweet. "These are small cultural differences that most entrepreneurs don't consider and where we can help with our expertise," says Laura Vollebregt (Alumna Netherlands-Germany-Studies and Export Consultant at the DNHK).

In conversation with the German Contact Group
Later in the day, Judith Thielen and Benjamin Koerselman welcomed the upcoming Netherlands-Germany experts to the Lower House. They are both members of the German Contact Group and maintain contact with colleagues from the German government. At regular meetings, the parties exchange ideas and opportunities for cooperation. For instance, MP Thielen talked about the idea of making up the surgery backlog created by Corona with the help of German hospitals. The conversation also touched on the image of Germany and the German language. "Education needs to highlight the current role and future perspectives in addition to history," believe Lisa and Eline (NDS students). Increasing awareness about the important relationship and close cooperation will make more people perceive Germany and the German language as an opportunity. Eline (IBC student) says, "Because of the intensive trade between the Netherlands and Germany, my studies offer me huge opportunities and exciting challenges in the job market for later."

Find out more about the Bachelor's programmes German Language and Culture, International Business Communication German and the Master's programme Dutch-German Studies!