[2019-01-28] DUJAT New Year’s Reception


Dear members and relations of Dujat,

Last night, Dujat had its first event of 2019: a kampai to the new year, and we are very glad that many of you were at this event.

We would like to give special thanks to our guest speakers H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to The Netherlands, and Mrs. Floor Gordon, Vice Mayor of the City of Amstelveen,
for giving wonderful speeches. Since Mrs. Floor Gordon shared many facts and numbers in her interesting speech, we asked her to share it with us so we can put it on our website, and she kindly approved (see below).

Once again thank you to everyone who was at our reception, and we hope to see you next time!

Mrs. Floor Gordon, Vice Mayor of the City of Amstelveen
  • Thank you for the kind invitation; happy to see all of you here. Today is January 28th and if you are into numbers that means we are 7,7% into the new year and most likely I’m last person in Amstelveen to give a New Year’s speech in 2019. But all jokes aside, I’m very glad to say a few word today.


  • Last time we saw each other was probably at the Dujat dinner that was very well attended. The attendance underscores the close trade relations we have. Moreover it underscores the important role DUJAT plays for the further strengthening of Dutch- Japanese economic relations.


  • Relationships are in the essence not about money or economics. They are about people. They are about give and take. Strong relationships are very important in business. This is especially true in international business, where there needs to be so much trust and dependability because big things are happening across large distances.


  • Louei Ali, Director of Business Development at an export trading company in Canada, described 5 considerations for building and maintaining strong international business relationships. I would briefly like to address them today:


  1. Credibility

It’s important to focus on building credibility with global business partners. You’re credible if you’re honest, transparent and tell it like it is.


  1. Expectations
    Nobody likes it when expectations aren’t met. Set the right expectations so you can always follow-through. Do not make assumptions about mutual understanding, but ensure that everyone’s on the same page. That brings me to the 3rd consideration…


  1. Listen
    Listen to your global partners and learn their goals and what motivates them. Ensure that you align your offerings with their goals. It is important to listen to your trading partners’ preferred communication style too. Before you can listen, it is important to meet each other and get to know one another. As Dujat puts it on the website: “… Networking is an integral part of doing business”. Thank you DUJAT for offering us the opportunity to do so.  


  1. Knowledge
    Knowledge is power. Share any knowledge that will help your partnerships succeed. The Japanase understood this and the Rangaku Japanese Dutch Science enabled Japan to take note of developments in Western technology and surgery. Rangaku is largely responsible for ensuring that Japan remains sufficiently aware of the technological revolution that was taking place in Europe at this time. Right now the Dutch can learn from Japan, with the fast aging of its population, its technology advancements and well-functioning public transit – which I was very impressed with during my business visit through In Amsterdam and with NFIA to Japan last November.


  1. Trust
    Trust is the result of behaving credibly, setting the right expectations, listening and adapting, and sharing knowledge. Trust leads to successful business transactions which are repeated for many years.
    It’s the foundation for long, lasting and fruitful relationships. Studies have shown that it costs seven times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. With trust, you’re keeping the existing ones. And each of them will get you three more!
  • Dear trusted friends, the trade relations between Japan and the Netherlands go back over 400 years, nearly 420 if you go by the date the first Dutch ship De Liefde It started with the trade of Asian goods such as spices, textiles, porcelain, and silk.
  • Although over the centuries our relations have become much broader then only trade, the economic relations still are at the core of our bonds. With the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement going into effect this February, those ties will only become stronger. The agreement will make trade between the EU and Japan simpler and faster for the over 2800 Dutch companies that currently export to Japan. Vice versa, the same accounts for the many Japanese companies that export to the Netherlands for a total worth of almost 10 billion Euro annually.


  • Why are these relations important to me as alderman of Economic Affairs in Amstelveen?
    • The Japanese represent an important group in our municipality. Per January 1st 2019 we have 133 nationalities with 73.254 Dutch passport holders, 4.837 Indian and 1.612 Japanese passport holders. You remain in a solid 3rd
    • We value what the Japanese have brought to our city, in terms of culture (arts / music) but also the beautiful 400 cherry blossom trees in Cherry Blossom park. We are looking forward to this year’s Sakura season and celebrations.
    • On the local level, the City of Amstelveen strives to maintain and further improve the good business climate so that companies, including Japanese companies, in Amstelveen can focus on their business.
  • Currently, all of us are moving into unknown territory now that the Brexit, whatever form it will take, is moving closer and closer. In that respect, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement could not come at a better moment, as now more than ever we have a need for strong partnerships with like-minded friends.


  • With a solid foundation of our partnership we look ahead at 2019.
    • On a World level we need to listen to one another, share knowledge and collaborate to achieve our Sustainable Development Goals.
    • It is an important year for Japan, since the current Emperor Akihito will abdicate on 30 April 2019 and Emperor Naruhito will be enthroned.
    • In the Netherlands we have upcoming elections in March for the Provincial states and water boards.
    • And locally in Amstelveen, we are working on the large infrastructure projects the Amstelveenlijn, we are making an area vision of the transition of Kronenburg to an inspiring corporate and “gezellige”student housing area etcetera.
  • There are lots of challenges as well as great opportunities ahead for all of us. Therefore I would like to conclude by wishing everyone much health and prosperity for this year.

DUJAT is pleased to invite you to join a New Year’s Reception to celebrate the start of 2019,
and share a Kampai to the New Year.

This year’s first DUJAT Kampai will take place on the 28th of January, and will be held at Cityden Up,
which is located in the same building as our previous office at the Prof. J.H. Bavincklaan 3.

The program starts at 18:00 and the reception ends at 19:30.

For this event we feel very honored that we can welcome
H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador to Japan in The Netherlands, and Mrs. Floor Gordon, Vice Mayor of the City of Amstelveen, as our guests of honor.

They will give us a short speech at the beginning of the evening. After that we will have a toast to the new year.

We look forward to seeing you there!

With warm regards,

Geert Jan Mantel, Chairman
Christa de Kemp, Managing Director