Wednesday 08 December 2021

Fewer foreign firms set up in NL, but Brexit bonus continues to be felt

The European Medicines Agency has brought hundreds of new jobs. Photo: Odi Busman

In total, 305 foreign firms agreed to set up in business in the Netherlands last year down 25% on 2019, Dutch foreign investment agency NFIA said on Thursday.

One third of the new arrivals is based in the Amsterdam area, creating nearly 2,000 new jobs.

The drop in foreign investment is mainly due to coronavirus but also to the fact the Dutch investment climate has become less attractive, NFIA chief Jeroen Nijland told Radio 1 news. The investment climate is still good but uncertainty about the rules on dealing with nitrogen compound pollution had an impact, as did changes to the tax regime, he said.

The 305 firms are expected to generate 8,600 direct jobs within three years – a figure which is down 40% on 2019 and the lowest figure in six years. Investments are set to total €1.9bn.

Of the 305 new companies nationwide, 68 operate in the IT sector and 34 are life science and health firms. A quarter of the new Amsterdam employers focus on IT, while 17 are involved in financial and business services.


Brexit continues to have an impact on companies’ decisions to open a Dutch office and 80 did so last year – unchanged on 2019. Of them, 27 decided to base themselves in or near Amsterdam.

Earlier this month the NFIA confirmed to that 500 companies are currently involved in some level of talks on moving to the Netherlands because of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

The list includes companies with serious intentions as well as firms which are orientating themselves about a move to the EU and are in talks with other countries as well, the NFIA said.

Two of the biggest new foreign employers are meat replacement maker Beyond Meat, which has a factory in Enschede, and Japanese chemicals firm Sekisui Polymatch, which is launching a new production location in Roermond.

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