Director’s Take – Matthias Brienen

Director’s Take – Matthias Brienen

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In this very first video of our Director’s Take series Matthias Brienen is elaborating on the current situation the international business world has found itself in lately.


Larive is a Netherlands-headquartered business development advisory firm, specialised in supporting companies with doing business in high-growth emerging markets in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and Sub Saharan Africa, where we have operational teams in 24 countries.

I have been with the company for almost 10 years and within Larive I am particularly involved in advising clients with market entry and growth in South and South East Asia. Within these geographies, we support a wide range of clients, in amongst other the automotive, energy and agro-food industries.

The global outbreak of COVID-19 and the necessary control measures have greatly impacted our lives and societies. It clearly also had its impact on our companies doing business internally and their cross-border business development and investment initiatives.

Almost all companies faced disruptions in their supply chains (for example in the automotive industry), sudden drop in demand of products and services and travel restrictions, limiting them to meet with their colleagues, suppliers and clients overseas.

Thanks to our local presence in 24 countries in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and Sub Saharan Africa, we have been able to support our clients with partly mitigating these challenges, for example by supporting with remote commissioning during the installation of facilities and redefining strategies.

Next to supporting private sector clients, Larive is also regularly engaged by governments and international financing institutes to assess market opportunities and define sector development strategies.

Larive for example recently assessed the impact of COVID-19 on the export and investments of the Dutch companies doing business in China, Indonesia and Vietnam. In this assessment, we particularly zoomed in on three segments in the agro-food sector, being the potato, livestock and dairy sector. Segments in which the Netherlands has an international leading position.

We noticed that suppliers of final products such as potatoes and poultry meat for the out-of-home market were hit directly, whereas manufacturers of processing equipment are experiencing a delay in their sales pipeline, which will have a more severe effect in the midterm (the next 6-12 months).

And although we expect that the emerging economies of Asia, including China, Indonesia and Vietnam, will remain the most important driver of global growth in the long run, the current uncertainties will affect investment decisions in the short run.

Fortunately, there are still a large number of companies which have a long-term strategy and investment agenda and therefore continue to capitalize opportunities. In general, Larive expects that demand for high-quality inputs, processing equipment and waste management will remain relevant long after this crisis have been overcome.

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