Additional investment opportunities for the Dutch economy

The Netherlands EFSI Investment Agency (NEIA) has been launched by the Dutch government. Its aim: to enable our businesses and our economy to obtain maximum benefit from the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI). The NEIA offers Dutch investors and financial institutions support in applying for financing from EFSI, also known as the “Juncker Fund”. The news was announced today by Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp and Finance Minster Jeroen Dijsselbloem in a letter to parliament. The European Commission’s aim in establishing EFSI is to facilitate at least 315 billion euros worth of additional investment. For the Netherlands this potentially means billions of euros to invest in the laying of fibre optic networks, additional lending to SMEs and energy efficiency measures for homes.

The government provides support and expertise

Henk Kamp explains: “Now that we are on the road to economic recovery, it is vital that we fully utilize each and every opportunity for further growth. As a result of the economic crisis, investment in Europe and in the Netherlands has been lagging behind in recent years. With help from EFSI, investors can set up additional projects in the coming years, projects that will boost the economy, for example in the field of renewable energy and innovation. Through the NEIA, the government will provide support and expertise to get those investments off the ground in the Netherlands, with EFSI support.” He continues: “Additional investments mean real opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop new products and services, to finance them and to bring them to market. That creates jobs and contributes to higher economic growth.”

Dutch investors in search of funding can contact the NEIA

As Jeroen Dijsselbloem points out, the new agency fulfils a genuine need: “EFSI is an interesting source of investment for social and economic projects. Industry, financiers and other government bodies have expressed the need for a one-stop shop and an intermediary that actively brings together the parties required to take full advantage of EFSI. The NEIA is the government’s response to this appeal. It provides a point of contact that can respond rapidly and provide clarity about what EFSI can or cannot provide in the case of individual projects. It also supplies a platform that makes it possible to combine the knowledge, funding and organizational capacity of various parties with a view to transforming promising project ideas into successful applications for EFSI funding.”

Due to the economic crisis, investment in the European economy has been lagging behind in recent years. In 2013, for example, the level of investment fell between 230 and 370 billion short of the long-term average of over 3000 billion euros per year. Through EFSI, the European Commission aims to elicit additional private investment by providing guarantees. Dutch investors in search of funding can contact the NEIA for expertise and assistance in filing such an application. As soon as the European fund becomes available, Dutch applicants will be in a position to qualify for EFSI support.

Jeroen Kremers chairman of the NEIA

The government has appointed Jeroen Kremers to chair the NEIA until mid-September. With his background in both central government and the financial sector, he has the knowledge and experience to give the NEIA the start it needs. With the NEIA at the helm, government bodies, the Netherlands Investment Institution (NLII), public sector banks BNG and NWB and the Regional Development Companies (ROMs) will work together to stimulate the progress of EFSI investments in the Netherlands.