The Netherlands has decided to join the race to attract the European medicines agency EMA, which will leave London after Britain quits the EU.
Health minister Edith Schippers and foreign minister Bert Koenders told parliament that winning the agency would be a major boost for the Dutch healthcare sector.
The agency has a workforce of some 900 people, mainly highly skilled, from all over Europe. The agency carries out the evaluation and supervision of medicines for humans and animals and regulates the launch of new drugs.
The Netherlands is well positioned to house the agency because of its good international links, its good housing and education and the wide knowledge of English, the ministers said in their briefing.
Competition is set to be fierce. A number of EU countries have already expressed an interest in housing the agency, including Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Spain.
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