Foreign investment creates over 12.500 extra jobs

Last year, 357 foreign companies, including Netflix, Merck Performance Materials and Jellice, invested a total of €1.67 billion in the Dutch economy and generated 12,686 new jobs. This is due to the efforts of Invest in Holland, a network consisting of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), which is part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, and various regional partners.

‘The presence of foreign companies is vital to the Netherlands,’ says Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Eric Wiebes. ‘1.4 million Dutch people owe their jobs directly or indirectly to these businesses. The NFIA’s impressive annual figures confirm the benefits our attractive investment climate brings us. Foreign companies are attracted by our highly educated workforce, good infrastructure, pleasant living conditions, and competitive tax climate. Making sure our business climate remains attractive is essential for future economic growth and employment in the Netherlands. Everyone will benefit.’

The NFIA’s work falls partly under the responsibility of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag. ‘The Netherlands has an attractive business climate and the Dutch economy is doing very well,’ says the minister. ‘Brexit is one of the reasons why multinationals are expressing growing interest in moving their operations or even their headquarters to the Netherlands. So it’s crucial for the NFIA and Dutch embassies and missions to continue spreading the word about what the Netherlands has to offer.’

Distribution centres and headquarters

Within the Invest in Holland network, the NFIA is responsible for 8,158 of the 12,686 new jobs. In 2017 the NFIA persuaded 224 foreign businesses to invest in the Netherlands, leading to investments worth a total of €1.23 billion. Its figures show that most new jobs were created in distribution centres (1,864), at corporate headquarters (1,345), in sales & marketing offices (1,316), in R&D facilities (1,259) and in production plants (1,081). For instance, Netflix added a customer contact centre to its European headquarters in Amsterdam (creating 400 jobs), Merck Performance Materials invested €15 million in its production plant for liquid crystal glass in Veldhoven, and the Japanese gelatin manufacturer Jellice expanded its production plant in Emmen (creating 25 jobs).

US companies generate most jobs

As in 2016, most ‘foreign’ jobs were created by companies from the United States. According to the NFIA, they invested a total of €110 million and created 2,516 jobs last year. Businesses from other European countries also provided many jobs (2,879 in total), including the UK (872 jobs). Companies from Japan and India created 655 and 423 jobs respectively. The creative industries sector was where most of the new jobs were created by foreign investment in 2017 – a total of 2,126. As regards other sectors, 1,788 jobs were generated in the agri-food sector, 1,219 in the ICT sector, 600 in the life sciences & health sector, and 457 in the business services sector.


 Last year, Brexit was a key focus of the Invest in Holland network. The NFIA is in contact with over 200 foreign companies that are considering moving to the Netherlands as a result of Brexit. Due to the uncertainty regarding the future relationship between the UK and the EU, many companies have decided to delay any such decision. In 2017, Brexit prompted 18 businesses to move to the Netherlands. They provide 483 jobs and have invested €19 million in our economy. These figures do not include the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is relocating to Amsterdam. The NFIA was closely involved in the Netherlands’ bid to host the EMA.