NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In 2020, 305 foreign companies chose to establish or expand operations in the Netherlands, according to the annual results of Invest in Holland and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) released today. These companies from around the globe expect to create more than 8,600 direct jobs in the first three years and invest 1.9 billion euros in their projects. Although the coronavirus is causing the Netherlands to attract fewer foreign companies, there is a constant flow of new companies as a result of Brexit.
U.S. and Canadian companies like Beyond Meat, Crocs, MSD, Inshur and McCain Foods tallied 100 direct investment projects in the Netherlands in 2020, accounting for nearly one-third of the foreign investment projects that NFIA and its partners were directly involved in worldwide.
Companies from North and South America are expected to invest close to 1.1 billion euros and generate 3,971 new jobs in the Netherlands by 2023. Expansion and relocation projects involved marketing and sales offices, distribution centers, European headquarters, manufacturing facilities and R&D in a range of industries from information technology and agrifood to life sciences & health.
Henny Jacobs, executive director of NFIA Americas, notes: “North and South American companies choose to invest in Holland to capitalize on our highly educated and multilingual workforce, world-class infrastructure, innovative culture and high-quality lifestyle that makes it easy to attract talent. The Netherlands is the America's best gateway to Western Europe.”
Bas van 't Wout, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and responsible for the NFIA, emphasizes the importance of foreign businesses: “I am pleased with all the foreign companies that have opted for the Netherlands. These international companies make an important contribution to our economy.”
Jeroen Nijland, NFIA commissioner and chairman of the Invest in Holland network says: “2020 was a year with two stories. The Netherlands is well-positioned for international companies looking for a stable base to serve the European market; for example, companies relocating operations due to Brexit. At the same time, the number of wider inward investments did see a decrease. This effect can largely be explained by the global coronavirus crisis. If we want to invest ourselves out of the crisis, we need to sustain our business climate; especially to encourage sustainable enterprise and innovation in the Netherlands, that enables us to grow.”
Coronavirus crisis constrains results
Foreign business investment has been under pressure everywhere since the coronavirus pandemic. The global crisis and growing economic uncertainty, coupled with fluctuating travel restrictions and supply chain problems, are causing companies to be reluctant to open new offices.
In 2020 the Netherlands saw the number of foreign business investments decrease by about a quarter compared to 2019, while the number of created jobs fell by about 40 percent. An even stronger decline in investments is being tempered thanks to strong Dutch sectors such as life sciences & health, IT and agrifood.
Brexit continues to play an important role
Even now that a Brexit deal has been concluded, the Netherlands remains popular to companies that are experiencing disruption due to Brexit. Many companies in the United Kingdom are currently experiencing problems due to extra administration, procedures, delivery times and worsened access to the European market. Due to continued uncertainty, the number of “Brexit companies” focusing on the Netherlands continues to grow. The NFIA is currently talking to 550 Brexit companies about a relocation or expansion to the Netherlands. This includes British companies, but also American and Asian parties that are reconsidering their current European structure due to the uncertainty caused by Brexit.
Since the referendum in June 2016, 218 Brexit companies have opted for the Netherlands, of which 78 again made the (partial) move last year. These 218 companies together are expected to generate 6,000 jobs and 544 million euros in investments in the first three years after arrival.
NFIA offers free, confidential assistance to companies looking to establish or expand operations in the Netherlands and has North American offices located in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Toronto. For more information, visit www.investinholland.com.
SOURCE Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency; Invest in Holland