EU is not the US Market
The European Union is one big market, just like the United States. Still, there are quite a few differences:
The European Union consists of 27 countries, most of them (24) have their own language(s) and business culture and yet the EU represents a market of $15.167 trillion.
The greatest cultural difference in doing business is that Europeans place more value on existing relationships and trust.
In some other cultures more value is placed on the specifics of the deal and contractual arrangements.
Doing business in Europe is about relationship and trust!
EU member states differ in size, population and economy.
With a GDP of $ 3.806 trillion, Germany is the EU’s biggest economy. Germany has many big Industries and is worldwide famous for delivering high quality products and services.
France is the second economy with a GDP of $2.603 trillion, followed by Italy (GDP $1.886 trillion), Spain (GDP $1.281 trillion) and the Netherlands (GDP $0.912 trillion).
The Netherlands together with Belgium and Luxembourg are working closely together in the Benelux Economic Union. Jointly the Benelux countries have a GDP of $1.580 trillion.
Pitfalls in accessing the European Market
There are some important characteristics of the European Market that you have to keep in mind if you want to grow your business here: Language – Culture – Patience.
We’ve published an article on this subject. You can find it here
Start in the Benelux
Your company is looking for growth and sees opportunities in Europe. If you want to establish yourself in the EU, start in the Benelux.
The capital of Belgium, Brussels has also been the capital of Europe since 1997 and is the seat of many European institutions. The European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Defence Agency (EDA) are just a few examples.
The Netherlands is seen by many countries as the gateway to Europe (and often also as the gateway to the world). The presence of the Port of Rotterdam, international organisations such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the OPCW in The Hague.
The internationally oriented Luxembourg is one of the most prosperous countries in the world.