Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency opens new office in Brazil

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation will open a new office of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency in Brazil (NFIA). Minister for Agriculture and Foreign Trade Henk Bleker made the announcement at a seminar on the opportunities for bilateral trade and investment between the two countries that took place in Brazil, where the Minister was conducting a trade mission. The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency assists and advises foreign investors and has offices around the world.

Brazilian economy

Brazil's economy is growing (7.5% in 2010) and opening up to the outside world. Increasingly, Brazilian companies are expanding internationally. Foreign investments made by Brazilian companies have risen in recent years and are expected to grow further. The Ministry plans to open an NFIA office in Brazil in 2012 to capitalise on this trend. The office will be located at the Dutch Consulate-General in São Paulo.

The Netherlands as a prime business location

The Netherlands is an attractive location for Brazilian companies for many reasons, including its central position in the economic heart of Europe; good infrastructure; innovative and creative strength; and a well-educated, multilingual, and internationally-oriented work force. In addition, the Netherlands has a stable, developed economy, an attractive fiscal climate, and has already proven itself as a lucrative location for thousands of companies from all over the world, including Brazil.

NFIA

The new NFIA office in Brazil will serve to reinforce the position of the Netherlands as a prime business location, and will assist and advise Brazilian companies with their activities in the Netherlands. The NFIA also provides free, confidential advisory services to companies considering investing in the Netherlands. For more than 30 years, the NFIA has helped thousands of foreign companies in the Netherlands. Foreign firms account for 16% of Dutch jobs and nearly a third of all private R&D investment in the Netherlands.

The Ministry's mission in emerging markets

Brazil and the world's other emerging economies (Russia, India, and China) are known as the BRIC countries. Trade with the BRICs already accounts for nearly 110,000 jobs in the Netherlands. And investments from BRIC nations are becoming increasingly important to the Dutch economy. In the Port of Rotterdam, for example, BRIC investment has created a further 30,000 jobs. In all, BRIC trade and investment has generated nearly 150,000 jobs in the Netherlands.

Through economic diplomacy and continued efforts in the WTO, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation provides strong support to Dutch companies in emerging markets. In these countries, the government often still plays a decisive role in daily economic life. Dutch diplomacy can then make the difference, by asserting the interests of the Dutch private sector. This can be done, for example, by contacting counterparts at all levels of foreign government on issues such as market access and legislative restrictions.

In addition, the Ministry places a high priority on partnerships. Dutch companies cannot depend on extensive financial support from the government. They must rely instead on their know-how, expertise, and experience when it comes to attracting new orders. The chance of success is greatest when businesses combine efforts and present themselves as a group, or when businesses seek out partnerships with knowledge institutions or companies in the countries in question. This model for success is also evident in the nine top sectors of the Dutch economy: agri-food, horticulture and propagation materials, high tech, energy, logistics, the creative industry, life sciences, chemicals, and water.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Ministry continues to devote attention to corporate social responsibility. Swift economic development in the world has led to increasing demand for food, clean water, energy, and raw materials, which in turn puts pressure on the environment. Problems of this magnitude can only be solved if government, the private sector, and civil society organisations work together.