Investment climate in Amsterdam

Last updated: 21-04-2011

In 2010, 122 new international companies were established in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. These companies are engaged mainly in financial services, ICT and the creative industries. In addition, Asian firms continue their growth trend. Currently, more than 2,000 foreign companies are established in the Amsterdam Area.

Of the 122 newcomers, 29 operate in the business and finance sectors such as Dynamic Credit Europe, MasterCard and Cavanagh. All are based in the Holland Financial Centre Plaza; even Brit Insurance has moved its headquarters from London to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has been a popular location for companies active in financial and business services for many years, strengthening the city’s position as one of the most important financial centres in Europe.

The Amsterdam Area also attracted many companies from the ICT sector (24 of the 122), largely due to the region’s excellent ICT infrastructure. Organisations such as the European Grid Initiative, which aims to connect important European data centres, opened their headquarters here. The region is also a magnet for creative industries (14 of the 122) such as Perfect World, a developer and publisher of online games.

In 2010, most new international companies that settled in the Amsterdam Area came from Asia. Asian companies accounted for 37%, compared to 31% from the United States and 30% from the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). In the past year, 9 new companies from China came to the region. On January 20, 2011 the world's largest bank, the Chinese ICBC, opened a branch in Amsterdam.

The Amsterdam Area was also popular with Japanese companies last year. Thirteen new companies were established, bringing the total to 334 Japanese companies in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, such as Yakult  and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

Nine new companies from India came to the region, including Dot Com, one of India’s largest IT service providers. South Korea established 7 new companies, including electric car producers CT&T.

The movement of companies in 2010 indicate that the combination of global accessibility, fiscal climate, available talent at home and abroad, high quality of life and innovative services on offer, make the Amsterdam Area an attractive location to relocate.

The region is in a strong position to attract European headquarters, and is in second place after London. The headquarters of 32 of the new companies have been set up in the region, compared to 18 in 2009.

US chemical company Kraton Polymer opened their European headquarters in October, creating 50 new jobs. New Zealand's Fonterra, one of the largest dairy producers in the world, moved its European headquarters from Hamburg to Amsterdam.

In addition to supporting established companies, the region is working toward facilitating expansion. Fourteen companies expanded last year, offering an additional 490 new jobs. Such companies include Liberty Global’s UPC Broadband at Schiphol-Rijk and Cisco data center in Hoofddorp.

The growth in existing and new companies brings with it an expansion of the Expatcenter, which had 43% more visitors in 2010 than in 2009 and served 4,700 clients. Satisfaction levels reached an impressive grade of 8.5 out of 10.

The municipalities of Almere and Haarlemmermeer have become partners in the Expatcenter together with Amsterdam and Amstelveen. In April 2011, the t axation office will appoint an employee to the Expatcenter, so that the one-stop-shop can provide an even better service to expats.