Dutch state owned companies such as railway company NS and the Schiphol airport group may be stopped from competing for contracts in other countries if there is no link with their key role in the Netherlands, finance minister Sigrid Kaag has hinted in parliament.
The framework for foreign participations will be part of a new strategy for state-owned companies which the new cabinet plans to draw up before the summer, Kaag said.
The minister made the comments in a debate on a motion by coalition party MP Pieter Grinwis which would stop foreign investments by state companies for profit.
‘Like Mr Grinwis, I am critical about foreign investments by state-owned companies for purely financial returns,’ she said.
The motion is likely to win majority support when it is voted on because a large number of MPs are known to be critical of the NS and Schiphol’s foreign adventures. NS subsidiary Abellio runs train services in Britain and Germany, while Schiphol has shares in Australian airports and is 100% owner of terminal 4 at JFK airport in New York.
The motion states that even though these activities are profitable, there is no reason to start on them, a point which Kaag also said she agreed with.
‘Profit without a link to the core activity or basic goals in the Netherlands is no reason to be active abroad,’ she said.
Abellio has run into trouble with its British rail franchises and has lost the Scottish contract early because of poor service.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation