Taiwan Business Day 2013
World Trade Centre — The Hague, Netherlands
May 27, 2013
Thank you for participating in Taiwan Business Day 2013! Nearly 100 participants registered for this unique event, held in the delightful premises of The Hague World Trade Centre. The Taiwan Globalization Network (TGN) is grateful for the collaboration of our partners, including the Dutch Incubator Association (DIA), the West Holland Foreign Investment Agency (WFIA), the City of The Hague, and Business Angels Europe (BAE). Many other organizations supported this initiative, and without their support, it would not have been so successful.
We were especially pleased and honored to welcome the 20-member business incubation delegation representing the leading incubators in Taiwan, one of the world’s innovation ‘hotspots’. Led by Taiwan’s Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA)of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Mr. Johnny Yeh, the delegation exemplified the ‘cream of the crop’ from Taiwan’s 130+ business incubators. Business incubation is the responsibility of SMEA, and having Director General Yeh lead the delegation and address the seminar participants was a distinct honor.
The delegation and participants at Taiwan Business Day were privileged to be welcomed by Vice Mayor HenkKool. In his speech to open the event, Vice Mayor Kool reviewed the close ties between Taiwan, The Hague, and West Holland. He sited a number of Taiwanese companies who have chosen to make West Holland their home, including Norman Europe, Aeon Astron, Aver Media, Taiwan Liposome Company (TLC Biotech) and NanKang Rubber Tire Company. He also confirmed that The Hague is home to the Taipei Representative Office and the Taipei School.
Vice Mayor Kool also cited the number of Dutch companies that are actively doing business in Taiwan, and stated that all of these companies, both Dutch and Taiwanese, were good examples for the participants in the seminar. No matter what industry or sector they are active in, companies from both Taiwan and the Netherlands have successfully entered each other’s markets. He believed that this has something to do with the ease of doing business in Taiwan and Holland, and the long trading history that the two regions enjoy.
Vice Mayor Kool and Director General Yeh exchanged gifts.
TGN was honored to be invited to sign 3 memoranda of understanding with several renowned business incubation organizations inTaiwan, including:
- TGN and ChaoYang Innovation Incubation Center (CIIC);
- TGN with the Accelerator Program – Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)/ National Chiao Tung University(NCTU)/ChungYuan Christian University (CYCU);
- TGN and the International Innovation Incubation Volunteers Association.
These MoU’s provide a sound framework on which to base the business-to-business collaboration between Taiwan and Europe.
Charlene Lambert, Chairman of TGN, led the first part of the business matchmaking’ seminar, alternating between Taiwanese and Dutch presentations.
Mr. Thomas Tung, Director of the Economic Division, Taipei Representative Office, shared his thoughts about How Dutch companiescan expand in the Asian market using Taiwan as their base of operations.
Thanks to Taiwan’s special relationship with China, Taiwanese joint ventures have a much more favored status in China. Dutch companies that want to enter this market, and particularly in certain sectors, can team up with a Taiwanese partner who knows the language andculture to have a successful business.
Mr. Ad Bresser,Lead Investment Manager, KPN Strategic Innovation, Founding StartupIn, presented Potential areas of collaboration between Taiwan and the Netherlands/The Hague in the IT/Telecom Sector.
Dr. Huang, Chairman, Chinese Business Incubation Association, then discussed
Taiwan’s business incubators and how Dutch companies can enjoy a ‘soft landing’ and accelerate their business growth by choosingTaiwan.
Mr. BastiaanReijm, Co-Founder and Senior Android Developer, at Milvum, impressed the audience with Milvum’s true business start-up story entitled:
“We did it the hard way” — How Milvum succeeded when the incubator said ‘No’. When there was no room available in the incubator his team wanted to enter, they decided to start the business themselves, and succeeded. It was certainly not easy, though, and required lot of hard work. They agree that having the coaching and support an incubator can provide is a better option.(www.milvum.com )
Mr. Pim de Bokx, Chairman of the Dutch Incubator Association, was the expert Master of Ceremonies for the second half of the program, including the “internationalization pitches”.
Mr. René Reijtenbagh, Vice President, BAE, discussed How Business Angels Networks Netherlands (BAN) and Business Angels Europe (BAE) support SME internationalization.
With the lack of government subsidy programs and bank lending available, SMEs are looking for other sources. BAE is interested in innovative projects and has potential interest in doing more with Taiwanese and Dutch projects. (www.businessangelseurope.com )
Preparing for internationalization and taking the next stepswas the subject of TGN’s Chairman Charlene Lambert. She presented the Internationalization Service Package that TGN is offering in collaboration with their network partners to support SMEs that want to internationalize their business.The Internationalization Service Team members are all recognized professionals who have agreed to give at least one hour of their time, free of charge, to each of the qualified companies that apply for the program. They analyze the prospects from different angles for the company to succeed internationally, and make recommendations as to how to proceed.
The participants then enjoyed four Internationalization Pitches, two from the Netherlands and two from Taiwan. The audience had a chance to comment on the pitches and to suggest ways that they could more quickly and successfully internationalize their business.
· Mr. Hans van ‘t Woud, Cerberus (www.cerberus.com )
· Mr. Thomas Chang, presenting ITRI Incubator startup igreen
· Mr. Gerrit Jan van ‘t Veen, Border Sessions (www.bordersessions.com )
· Mr. Thomas Chang, presenting ITRI Incubator startup Taiwan Bean Store (https://www.facebook.com/taiwanbeanstore )
Finally, Mr. Taco Carlier, CEO VANMOOF & STRIDA Bicycles, provided a Testimonial about how VANMOOF bicycles has collaborated with Taiwanese partners to develop, manufacture and sell their award-winning bicycle. (www.vanmoof.com )
Taco is a perfect example of how a Dutch company can join forces with the technology andmanufacturing businesses in Taiwan to reach globalmarkets together.
We were pleased to invite two participants to share information with the audience about how they are doing business between Taiwan and the Netherlands: Mr. Kenn Curt Daniel (AEON ASTRON, Leiden, Netherlands) and Ms. Cherry Hung (Medical Liaison Officer Deputy Director General Institute for Information Industry Taiwan).
Participants had more time for refreshments, contact making and matchmaking during the networking after the meeting.
What are some of the results from Taiwan Business Day 2013 in The Hague?
- Thomas Chang, Manager of the renowned Industrial Technology Research Institute ( ITRI)who presented two companies’ pitches left Holland with two potential Dutch distributors.
- The Dutch company Border Sessions has a strong lead on a Taiwanese tycoon who might be coming to Holland this fall to share his vision at the festival on the impact of micro-electronics on human behavior.
- New relationships have been established with ITRI to support development efforts in blue energy.
- Opportunities have been created for Dutch film producers and e-learning suppliers .
- A comment from a Dutch businessman: “It was very good to participate in the VIP-diner, as it gave me the opportunity to really get to know some very interesting Dutch entrepreneurs. The funny thing is that I met a Dutch entrepreneur here who is going to become my client for sure. Why is this funny? I’m Dutch too, and we produce ultra low power electronics in Taiwan!”
- Other quotes: ‘Taiwan Business Day showed me how international partnerships help to give easy access to new regions’, and ‘the Netherlands’ great infrastructure and supportive business environment make it ideal to soft land here to enter the European market.’
We’re already talking about next year’s event, and how we can make it even better! We would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions for or recommendations.