It is a myth to say that the Netherlands is up for sale and that Dutch companies are being preyed on by foreign firms, finance minister Wouter Bos told a meeting at the Holland Financial Centre on Thursday.
Bos said he was surprised by the recent spate of newspaper headlines such as ‘companies plundered by foreign barbarians’ and ‘the Chinese are coming’ which he said awakened nationalist feelings.
He cited figures from the national statistics office CBS which show no dramatic increase in foreign takeovers of Dutch firms. Dutch firms earn some 90% of their turnover abroad but only 80% of their workforce is based in foreign countries, Bos said.
The business climate, not national pride, is a sound basis for a healthy economy, he said.
Read the full speech
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