Foreign investments hit record high

Last year, foreign companies invested a record-breaking €3.2 billion in the Dutch economy, with government support. A total of 187 new projects have been completed, including new head offices, production facilities and data centres. These investments generated 6,304 new jobs, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) found. It published its annual statistics today.

‘Investors see plenty of opportunities for investment in our country, and rightly so. We have a highly skilled working population and world-class digital infrastructure. Our economy’s also picking up. These things act as a magnet on investors,’ economic affairs minister Henk Kamp said. But he also cautioned that the rest of the world isn’t standing still. ‘We need to keep aiming high in the years ahead, to maintain our country’s attractive business climate.’

Mr Kamp and foreign trade minister Lilianne Ploumen share responsibility for the NFIA’s work.

‘As these data show, trade and investment generate employment in the Netherlands,’ Ms Ploumen said. ‘That’s why Dutch embassies around the world are working to draw international companies to the Netherlands. We especially want to convince more international start-ups that the Netherlands is the place to be for innovators. There’s still a lot of potential to be realised on that front.’

Welcome Google, Expedia and Netflix
Thanks to a targeted acquisition strategy the NFIA succeeded in attracting a number of big names to the Netherlands in 2014. In Amsterdam online travel provider Expedia expanded its service centre by 120 jobs and Netflix opened its new European headquarters; Google is building a €600 million data centre in Eemshaven; and Canada’s Northland Power is investing €1.6 billion in the Gemini offshore wind farm, some 85 km off the north coast of the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the fashion brand American Eagle is building a large distribution centre in Bergen op Zoom that will provide 100 local jobs, and Europastry from Spain is starting up a bakery in Oldenzaal, creating 75 jobs.

The Netherlands has international appeal
Most foreign investors in our country are from the United States. Last year they invested in 65 projects, which generated over 2,300 jobs. In second place is China, with 28 projects and over 500 jobs. South Korean investors have also discovered the Netherlands, with 15 projects and 165 jobs, although India is not far behind with 10 projects that have generated 225 jobs. Foreign investments in 2013 were lower, at €1.7 billion, although it was an excellent year in terms of employment: 8,500 new jobs. In 2012 foreign investments generated more than 5,000 jobs.

‘Invest in Holland’
Until 2020, the NFIA and its regional partners will be running a campaign entitled ‘Invest in Holland’, aimed particularly at companies in the chemicals industry, agri-food, high-tech systems and materials, life sciences & health, and ICT. These are priority sectors in Dutch economic policy. Without diminishing its focus on major investors from the US and Japan, the NFIA will also be working to capitalise on the networks it has built up in China and India. The NFIA and the Dutch diplomatic missions will be working together in Start-up Delta, an initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs headed by former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. It will mainly target countries with high numbers of start-ups, like the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel.