On Thursday, 6th September 2018, Projekt Hansa held a Business Hub with Boston Hanse Group in England’s older Hanseatic town: Boston, Lincolnshire. Our chairman, Rupert Matthews MEP, was delighted to engage with over 50 people from SMEs in the surrounding the area.
This was an excellent opportunity for Projekt Hansa to foster interest for trade, business links and cultural exchanges across Northern Europe – from the United Kingdom to the Baltic states. Rupert Matthews discussed our policy group’s core objective: a better trade environment, unimpaired by EU over-regulations and favourable to regional SMEs, which cultivates experience, expertise and innovation to overcome common challenges that hinder economic growth. With Brexit getting nearer every day, strengthening our ties within the Hanseatic League area has never taken such importance.
The local business community in Boston is well aware of the town’s Hanse legacy. They are keen to engage once again with our northern European neighbours in trade and friendship. In fact, many have already been looking towards closer relationships and business opportunities across the North Sea.
PAB, a translation and interpreting company, shared with us that their business has substantially increased since the Brexit Referendum. The success of their seminars with Iwona Lebiedowicz’s on the practicalities and cultural nuances to be aware of when entering a foreign market is telling.
In the meantime, Lincolnshire’s Council plans to reinvigorate the region for a prosperous future outside the European Union but in collaboration with Hanseatic partners. Councillor Richard Butroid, representing Gainsborough Rural South, articulated its vision for agriculture and tourism during the meeting.
Lincolnshire voted strongly for Brexit, and Boston was particularly keen on the change, but that does not mean that the move will not create challenges as well as opportunities. Some in the agricultural sector are worried by the potential labour shortage due to the decline of seasonal workers coming from Eastern Europe.
But there is a great opportunity open to Lincolnshire such as in the tourist sector. Plans to put Lincolnshire on the map as a touristic destination are being taken forward by the county council. Anyone who spent time in Lincolnshire knows that it is not always easily accessible. The council is exploring leads to increase tourism by reaching out across the North Sea to our old Hanseatic partners. We might just see in the near future more of our Scandinavian neighbours in Lincolnshire.
Above Picture: George Bell (Boston Hanse Group), Rupert Matthews Conservative MEP for East Midlands, and Iwona Lebiedowicz (Cultural Awareness Consultancy)