Netherlands Entices Its Largest Brexit-Linked Wave of Businesses

Netherlands Entices Its Largest Brexit-Linked Wave of Businesses

Last year, the Netherlands saw the biggest wave of Brexit-spurred moves to the country. Other companies are likely to follow. That’s according to the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA). The agency said 78 companies decided to move to or expand in the country last year, adding to the sixty two firms that relocated there after the U.K.’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

The agency is still in communication with 425 firms considering moving or expanding in the Netherlands because of Brexit, up from the about 250 it had mentioned the previous year. These include not just British entities, but also American and Asian ones that are reviewing their European structure and operations.

Amsterdam allured 38 new companies related to Brexit last year, including British media company Ridley Scott and Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co Ltd. More than a hundred companies are still considering moving operations to the Dutch capital as “many companies” are waiting for the Brexit negotiation results before they choose a location, according to a separate statement from the municipality.

The Netherlands has emerged as one of the winners of Brexit-related moves by companies, vying with the likes of Germany, France and Ireland. The country, which bagged the European Medicines Agency — an EU agency moving to Amsterdam from London — has lured corporate entities in the financial, technology, life sciences & health and the creative sectors, all of which require permits to operate in the bloc.

The U.K. left the EU at the end of January and entered a transition period while negotiating it future trade relationship with the bloc, which has spurred uncertainty for businesses. “2020 will be an important year for these companies,” said Jeroen Nijland, who heads NFIA. “More and more companies are not waiting. They’re opting for the certainty and security on the European Market that the Netherlands offers instead.”

EU Says Johnson Will Be Blamed if Brexit Wrecks Trade with U.K. The Netherlands is continuing to invest in luring foreign companies.

“Foreign companies make an important contribution to our economy,” Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Eric Wiebes said. “They account for 30% of the total private spending in research and development in the Netherlands.”