The Netherlands is popular with foreign companies

The Netherlands is popular with foreign companies
Scottish Enough invests in Sas van Gent, where leftover produce from the nearby Cargill plant is processed into proteins to replace meat.
Photo: Peter Hilz/ANP


  • Last year, foreign companies announced investments of 2.3 billion euros in the Netherlands.
  • This includes 13,400 jobs.
  • 74 British companies joined, double the number in the previous year.

It is clear that the Netherlands was more popular with foreign companies in 2021 than in the previous year. The number of companies established or expanded in the Netherlands has increased to 423. This is significantly higher than the 305 companies in 2020, when the pandemic made it difficult for foreign investors to come to the Netherlands.

This is evident from an overview that Invest in Holland and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, announced on Thursday.

The investment amount is lower than in 2019

The number of investments is higher than the 2019 level (397) and previous years. At 2.3 billion euros, the volume of investments was still significantly lower than in 2019, when 4.3 billion euros in investments by foreign companies were announced. In 2020, the amount of investment amounted to 1.9 billion euros.

The number of direct investment-related jobs reached 13,400, much more than 8,600 in 2020, but down from 14,100 jobs last year before the pandemic.

Many Brexit companies

The vast majority of investments came from the United States. In second place comes the United Kingdom, where the number doubled in one year to 74. Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, 316 companies have chosen the Netherlands, which is good for 782 million euros in investments and about eight thousand jobs.

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Most of the jobs created, more than 4,400, are in the ICT sector. Transportation and Logistics ranks second with 1,600 jobs.

Miki Adriansens, VVD’s Minister of Economic Affairs, notes that foreign companies make an “important contribution” to the economy. “For example, they represent 30% of all private investment in research and development in the Netherlands.”

sustainability and digitization

Adriaansens says that since 2020, NFIA has focused more on attracting “high-quality activities related to innovation, digitalization and sustainability.” She says she is pleased “because we are seeing the first results of this in the annual numbers.”

Some examples of foreign companies that, according to the agency, are accelerating sustainability, developing new digital applications or enabling future innovations, in 2021 were American Bristol Myers Squibb, Scottish Enough and American-Indian Quantiphi.

Bristol Myers Squibb is building a cell therapy laboratory in Leiden. Enough investment in Sas van Gent, where leftover produce from the nearby Cargill factory is processed into proteins to replace meat. Quantiphi announced an office in Amsterdam. This site aims to assist healthcare, education, and government in applying artificial intelligence, among other things.

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