Euro Exim Bank

Going Dutch – Business Lesson’s to us All

The Netherlands, tucked up in North West Europe is a choice spot for foreign investment and a world leader in the Life Science sector. It is one of the most politically stable countries in the EU, with a dynamic government that actively encourages and facilitates industry, business innovation and investment. So if your business is on the cusp of expansion, look towards the Netherlands for the best opportunity for future growth and success. There are huge business opportunities available for every industry, but if your area of expertise lies in the health and life science sector, you simply must read on.

The great geographic location of these two cities lends itself to a huge amount of corporate travel opportunities and a thriving cosmopolitan business environment.


Utrecht, the Netherlands. Have you heard of it? Well you are about to hear a lot more about this region, an area that is among the best locations in Europe for foreign investment. It is situated in the heart of the Netherlands, and it is central to the economic wellbeing of the country. It is approximately 20 miles southeast of Amsterdam, situated on the Oude Rijn River, and is a city best known for its academic excellence and investment opportunities. Utrecht is a front-runner in the Life Sciences, mainly due to a superb R&D and economic infrastructure, top research associations, high calibre employees from first class universities, and an economic environment that is motivated by growth and innovation. Utrecht Science Park hosts young, developing and established companies and it is the perfect location for aspiring, ground-breaking businesses. Does this sound like your company?

While you are on the map of the Netherlands, Utrecht’s neighbouring city, Eindhoven, approximately a 51 minute train ride south, with excellent connections to Belgium and Germany, should not be overlooked. Eindhoven is especially suited to technically oriented and innovative companies, from large internationals to smaller businesses, and is currently involved in the project Brainport 2020. This project hopes to steer the southeast of the country up from ninth to third position in Europe’s ‘top technology’ regions. It accounts for 40% of R&D investments in the Netherlands, so it is well versed in new businesses and promoting investment opportunities. Top city for business innovation? In 2011, Fortune magazine thought so, and choose the Brainport Eindhoven Region as one of seven regions worldwide driving business innovation. If you are thinking of expanding your business take a look at what Eindhoven has on offer. Rob van Gijzel, mayor of Eindhoven and chairman of Brainport puts things into perspective: “Companies in Eindhoven increase the speed and impact of their innovation by sharing and expanding knowledge with other high-tech business.

FEI, a US company, involved in the production and distribution of electron microscopes, realised Eindhoven’s potential and has set down their business roots. Not to be outdone, Utrecht is already home to 800 foreign companies, and McKesson, headquartered in the US, provides healthcare technology and solutions, moved into Nieuwegein, Utrecht in 1999, and has been reaping rewards ever since. Both these modern cities have new, fully equipped business and conference centres that make sharing of information and business development effortless.

Eindhoven and Utrecht are not only similar because of their great geographic locations, their proven FDI success stories, and top end economic opportunities; there has also been collaboration between the University Medical Center, Utrecht, Utrecht University and Eindhoven University of Technology. This partnership came into being last year and 3.25 million euros was invested to fund research, which included solar energy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and regenerative medicine, thereby boosting the life science sector in both areas. Both regions are goldmines for foreign investment, handing foreign businesses an offer to good to refuse. So graciously accept and make a clever business decision you will not regret.

The great geographic location of these two cities lends itself to a huge amount of corporate travel opportunities and a thriving cosmopolitan business environment, with EU countries on their doorstep and easy access to the Middle East and Africa. With such close proximity to Belgium and Germany, these easy transport links make this part of the Netherlands stand out immediately as a great location for investment with easy access to the wider European community. A modern infrastructure and transport system will immediately help your business reach all the potential markets to ensure that your business is a success.

The Netherlands stand out immediately as a great location for investment with easy access to the wider European community.


What about the tax system in The Netherlands as a whole? The tax system looks favourably on foreign direct investment and positive changes to the corporate income tax system in recent years has produced a sunnier investment climate. Additionally, with regard to R&D, businesses can profit from the innovation box. This provides a corporate tax rate of only 5%, and an R&D allowance (WBSO). The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) will assist your company in every step of the way in business start-ups. It will help you launch, grow and restructure your operations to best suit your business doing business in the Netherlands.

Need help manning your expansion? Your company won’t be left wanting. Both Eindhoven and Utrecht are known for their high calibre workforce. Home to universities and higher education facilities, the local workforce is amongst the most motivated employees in Europe. They are also among the most multilingual in the world, allowing them to effectively work in companies across any industry or market, and communicate effortlessly with businesses across the globe.

The Life Science industry in The Netherlands help advance health care worldwide, excels globally, and is a key economic sector in the country. This prominence is due primarily to The Netherlands productive Research & Development base and united approach to innovation. 67 % of Dutch Life Science companies work with foreign companies and knowledge centres to promote their industry and carry out their business. This industry is a real goldmine because there is always room for improvement and growth. If your business can offer new information surrounding drugs or technology, then you are in the right country, as this sector is currently a government priority. With FDI incentives and the additional help of Europabio, an organisation representing biotechnology in the European Union, you are onto a clear winner!

If you are looking into the relocation option for yourself or your team, the Netherlands offers an amazing work/life balance. Whether you want to explore the historic cities, dine out in affordable restaurants, or take in some culture in the theatres, art galleries or live music venues, the expatriate is soon made to feel welcome and right at home.

Whether Utrecht or Eindhoven tickles your fancy, when choosing your next business expansion location, look no further than these two options to gain your full business potential.