Looking to expand your international business? Tap into the power of the Embassy.

The Embassy and Consulate Offices of a country promote diplomatic relationships between the two countries and advance their interests, promoting trade and tourism.  Trade is your business.  If you are a US business going into a country, you have two Embassy Offices that will assist and guide you, the Embassy of the country you are entering, as well as the US Embassy.  Here, I will use the Netherlands as an example because I had the pleasure of an in-depth introduction to the Dutch Consulate in San Francisco and their services recently from senior economic officer Pui San Tam.

Embassy Power.

The Embassy and Consulate Offices promote a number of activities that can be very significant to business.  As an example, the Dutch Consulate has TED-like talks, breakfasts, networking, pitch sessions, as well as product and service showcases.  With aim to expand international business, they perform and participate in numerous trade events.  They host business exchange, promote networking, and participate in exhibitions, such as CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, with a Holland Pavilion.  Check out the Embassy for every country you are doing business in, as well as the US Embassy in-country.

Expand Your Perspective.

Read Built for Global: Navigating International Business and Entering New Markets for more ideas on how to add value, de-risk, find in-country assistance, and build trust in your global business dealings.  You will find Built for Global on Amazon in print and kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Built-Global-Navigating-International-Business/dp/1545146667/

Embassy and Consulate Defined.

The terms Embassy and Consulate are often used interchangeably.  This is technically okay but actually they are different.  The Embassy is the residence of the Ambassador and Consulate Offices are where people work to support the diplomatic efforts of the country.

There is only one Embassy for a country; it is the Ambassador’s residence that is most commonly located in the capital city of the “host” country.  The Netherlands Embassy is located in Washington D.C. and the US Embassy to the Netherlands is located in The Hague, the capital of the province of South Holland.  Separate buildings near the Embassy house the consulate or chancery, where people work to support the diplomatic efforts.  This is the largest staff and they are involved in broader impact issues and permanent diplomatic mission.

Consulate Offices are smaller and located in larger population centers of economic exchange and tourist interest.   The Consulate Office makes connections, assists with trade relations, issues visas, and more.  As an example, the Dutch Consulate has major offices in five U.S. cities: Washington D.C., New York, Miami, Chicago, and San Francisco (which I visited).  Additionally there are twenty “honorary”, smaller Dutch Consulate Offices in other cities around the U.S. primarily for trade and business relations.  Consulates get involved in operational matters, public diplomacy, international business, and economic affairs, along with more practical matters like visas and passports.  Important to business, Consulates support trade, make business connections, hold trade events, support cross-national investments, promote academic exchange, and encourage innovation.

Dutch – Holland – Netherlands.

If you have not been to the Netherlands you have been missing out on a great place to visit for business exchange, entrepreneurship, and vacation travel.  It is a beautiful country and the people are very welcoming.  Many people are confused by terms such as Netherlands, Dutch and Holland, used interchangeably.  No, they don’t have an identity crisis.  No, they don’t mean the same thing.  But, common practice interchanges them. Netherlands is the country.  Dutch refers the language, a western Germanic language; it is also commonly used to refer to the people of the Netherlands.  Holland is a region on the western coast of the Netherlands but is informally used to refer to the entire country, similar to England being used when referring to the United Kingdom.

About the Author.

Janet Gregory is a veteran sales executive and co-founder of KickStart Alliance. For assistance with entering new markets, sales strategy, sales planning, or management workshops contact janetg@kickstartall.com.  Janet is coauthor of Built for Global.  For help in aligning sales & marketing for results contact any member of the KickStart Alliance team.