Almere--the new international business centre
We look at how two initiatives by The World Trade Center Almere Area are helping expats to make Holland their home away from home.
In twenty years, when Amsterdam is bursting at the seams, the Almere area might be the perfect place for opening an international company. With the establishment of The World Trade Center Almere Area (WTCAA) it has a serious potential to become one.
Mariska Engel, Project Leader within the World Trade Center in Almere talks about two initiatives that she currently heading up.
“The first initiative, The International Business Information Center, is focusing on several projects, and helps, for instance, national companies that want to internationalize. We help them to start importing or exporting and to establish new partnerships abroad via our substantial network. We also help companies from outside of the Netherlands to set up business here.
“Networking is one of our main focuses and our principal goal is to bring companies together.
“The Almere Area is a relatively new and because it is still under development, expats coming here can find it difficult to network effectively.
“Therefore, we initiated the second project that I’m responsible for--The Expat Center. This initiative, which is mainly about bringing people together, is developing incredibly fast. We already have The International Almere plus a church for internationals called NDIC. We are also working with international schools, parents and children in the Almere area.
“Once you help people to get to know each other, they’ll organize events themselves and they create their own informal ‘expat centres’. It’s so nice to see what the groups do for one another.
“Arriving and finding your own way in a new country is always difficult. Everyone can get lost in new bureaucratic system. Finding out details about housing, banking and school system in new country is demanding for everyone.
“All in all, the Almere area, with its strong focus on international communities, can help expats to adapt much more quickly to their new life in the Netherlands.“
If you’re interested in joining The Expat Center, then come along to their next big event ‘Halloween’ in October. For more information, contact Mariska Engel (+firstname.lastname@example.org)