Dutch expertise on water technology welcome in French market

12.04.2012 By: Transfer Latin Business Consultancy

At the request of NL EVD Internationaal, in cooperation with the Vereniging van Leveranciers van Milieutechnologie and the Netherlands Water Partnership, TRANSFER Consultancy organized half February 2012 a trade mission for the water technology sector to France. Suppliers of varied high quality products participated in this mission.

Water, one of the most important themes in the 21st century, has also in France an important role in the industrial and public sector. France is known in the field of water technology by the existence of large groups like Veolia and Suez which exploit the necessary knowledge. On the other side, this market deals with points of improvement concerning her image, water management and innovation, an opportunity for cooperation with parties from the Netherlands.

With this idea in mind the participants arrived Monday evening in Paris for the briefing in which Gerald Baal, CEO of TRANSFER Consultancy, explained the ins & outs of doing business in France as well as the individual visitor programs.

The first day of the mission started successfully with a very interesting group visit together with Mr Villeneuve, Transport Counselor from the Dutch Embassy in Paris, at Suez Environnement. While enjoying a French croissant and a beautiful view over Paris, the participants were welcomed in the boardroom on the 41st floor, by the CEO of Lyonnaise des Eaux, the water branch of Suez.

After a short company introduction and his vision on the water market, the technical director gave a presentation about the current issues and trends with which this large water actor in the French market has to deal. The plenary part of the group visit was followed by tailor made individual meetings between the Dutch delegation and several purchase- and technical directors of Lyonnaise des Eaux.

After this fruitful morning, not least for Lyonnaise des Eaux, several matchmaking meetings took place with multinationals, like Alstom, Ascometal, Merck Santé and Total, but also potential agents and distributors. The participants discovered as well a special aspect of the French culture, an impressive strike took place around the hotel. Luckily, it could not harm the first commercial successes of the mission. The positive experiences of the day were discussed elaborately during the diner in a classical French Bistro, with fresh oysters and a good glass of wine.

After several successful meetings at water treatment companies and research institutes like Ternois and Cirsee in the surroundings of Paris, the mission moved by TGV to Lyon on Wednesday afternoon.
In this southern region, which is known for its water expertise, the individual appointments continued at local water specialists. Besides the expertise on water technology the participants also discovered the gastronomical specialties of the region during a rich ‘diner Lyonnais’.

A visit to the brand new water purification plant of La Feyssine near Lyon announced the last day of the mission.
After an interesting presentation by the project manager of the competitiveness cluster Axelera, the group visit continued outside with a guided tour around the different water purification processes. After this field trip the participants travelled to their last meetings.
At the end of the week, we can look back on a successful trade mission in which the foundation has been laid for a beautiful cooperation, whereby the Dutch and French expertise in the field of water technology can be combined with the local market knowledge of French water treatment- and industrial companies.
Several French institutes, companies and specialists have already indicated their interest in receiving more information about other Dutch technologies and in visiting the Netherlands as a direct follow-up. Might you be interested in joining them, please let us know.

The following reactions give an idea of the positive results of the mission:

Mr Hans Van der Plas, Export Manager of DP Pumps:
“The meetings during the mission have generated potential clients in the for us new French market. If necessary I will contract the consultants of Transfer with pleasure for further support in La France.“

Mr Jack Braspenning, Director of Delta Impex:
“ I was positively surprised with the results. Transfer was flexible, and set up very interesting meetings with e.g. Suez, and potential partners such as Ascometal. This visit to France created very valuable entries for us into the French watersector! “

Mr Niels Trompert, Sales Manager of
Pieralisi Benelux:
"Last year we opened an own office in France to approach the local market. Due to the size of the country it takes a lot of time to find potential partners. Therefore the timing of this trade mission was perfect to get in contact with the right people/partners on a short notice. TRANSFER has created good market entries with these potential partners in France."

Mr Peter Behnisch, Commercial Director of Bio Detection Systems:
“The French water sector used to be an undeveloped area for our company. By means of the meetings set up by Transfer LBC we have been able to make contacts in different cities (Lyon, Paris, Grenoble) of France with e.g. CIRSEE, the international research center of Suez Environnement, leading French universities and the Axelera Cluster, which are interested in the application of our water analysis techniques to hormones, endocrine disruptors and dioxins.“