The motivation and goal is—by identifying and realizing business opportunities between the two countries—to create jobs in the Philippines to contribute to Filipino livelihoods and strengthen the Netherlands’ leading position in world trade for Dutch employment.
Director, Department of Trade (DOT)
My name is Monique Wisse, Director at DOT, and Board Member at Dutch Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (DCCP).
At DOT, we support cross-border business expansion, providing process-based market entry assessment and facilitation between the Philippines and the Netherlands. Since 2011 we have successfully assisted companies across the agriculture (vegetable seeds, floriculture, agri-food, packaging) and water sectors, among others, to enter the Philippine market. Our clients enjoy our best quality of assistance in business development services as well as business services.
After I finished an assignment in Road Safety as a Project Manager at TNT Express in India, I decided to explore the Philippines. Excited by the Indian experience, I was eager to immerse in a second intercontinental and intercultural experience. In 2011, I landed and started a venture – and I can say an ADventure it became: inspired by Filipino people and the country’s incredible strengths and opportunities!
My motto "Passion for Growth, Inspired by Culture" is what drives me in this (ad)venture. The unknown; the interest in people - why we do what we do; and creating and building ideas, concepts, and initiatives all three inspire me to contribute and give meaning. It’s just magic!
The motivation for entrepreneurship evolved over time. At the start of 2011, I felt we may be able to help Dutch companies with their business on the ground in the Philippines while being locally present (a hands-on and practical approach).
Soon after we started working with our first client, we reached out to potential business partners for this client. A strong connection with Filipino people and businesses was the result. It grew the motivation to develop mutually beneficial relationships aiming for sustainable partnerships of benefit to both our clients as well as Filipino business partners.
Since its inception we have taken NEDA’s long-term vision for the Philippines AmBisyon Natin 2040: The Life Filipinos Want and added in October 2020 the importance of Dutch international trade (+/- 1/3 of GDP) as per The Netherlands government as guidelines for growing business between clients and partners.
The motivation and goal today is—by identifying and realizing business opportunities between the two countries—to create jobs in the Philippines to contribute to Filipino livelihoods and strengthen the Netherlands’ leading position in world trade for Dutch employment.
A flourishing business environment depends on many factors. There may not even be a single way to answer. I would love to have a conversation with the person or company who asked this question. If one means a flourishing business environment for foreign investment in the Philippines, for sure I would say good infrastructure for international business, including the close collaboration of an embassy, a chamber of commerce and the private sector as well as an established connection with similar counterparts and stakeholders across South East Asia and The Netherlands.
My message for aspiring entrepreneurs is that it has been very helpful to me to have a clear understanding of why I wanted to do what I am doing. Simon Sinek inspired me to think about both personal as well as organisational ‘why’s’ - as described earlier in detail: "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe."
At DOT, we work in alignment with some key values that we believe are the foundation of the company and guide us in relationships, assignments and business. We share the belief that with professionalism, adventure, open-mindedness, fun, do-what-you-say-say-what-you-do, creativity, listen-share-learn, clarity, change, respect and integrity we develop a foundation for international partnerships, have sustainable impact and grow together!
To make the business succeed I had to find the right balance between the Dutch and Philippine cultures. Dutch discipline, frugality, no-nonsense hard work combined with Filipino passion, dedication, empathy, and curiosity became the recipe for success.