Netherlands Business Climate

Netherlands as an EU Base of Operations:

The Netherlands has established itself as a global leader in the the digital economy.  For US companies and/or investors, it represents the ideal beachhead for an EU and global presence.  A combination of factors make this so: world leading transportation infrastructure, world leading digital infrastructure, access to high levels of entrepreneurs and innovative startups, large amounts of highly educated people, a culture which accepts and cultivates innovation and new thinking, green and sustainable thinking is advanced, globally advantageous corporate structuring and tax provisioning, and, large amounts of affordable space for new companies to grow.  Finally, the Netherlands is truly international.  English is spoken fluently and by over 90% of the country, and most people speak a minimum of 3-4 languages.  Simply stated, the fundamental language and understanding barriers of making a beachhead for high tech entrepreneurs in a city like Berlin are non-existent in Amsterdam. 

It’s interesting to note that the most recent World Economic Forum Report ranked The Netherlands in the highest category (Advanced), even over the United States, in a wide rubric describing digital/wired economic readiness.  In particular, the Netherlands boasts the world’s highest broadband Internet penetration rate with 40 subscriptions per 100 population, the second-highest percentage of computer ownership (92 percent of households), and third-highest percentage of individuals using the Internet (90.1 per- cent). The country’s best rank is achieved in the eco- nomic impacts pillar (4th), thanks to the high share of knowledge-intensive jobs in the economy—almost 50 percent, the third highest in the world—and the country’s knack for innovation, as reflected in the fifth-highest ratio of ICT-related patent applications per capita. (World Economic Forum)

  1. The Netherlands ranks in the top ten most attractive countries for venture capital and private equity investments[4].

  2.  62.000 jobs in software development and 14.000 in R&D in the Netherlands

  3. The Netherlands ranks 4th as countries where app ideas are born (MobileBeat, 2011)

  4. The Netherlands ranks 5th in the digital economy rankings (The Economist, 2010)

  5. The Netherlands is the best place in the world for consumer and business adoption of digital technologies (The Economist, 2010)

  6. Amsterdam is the 4th best place in Europe to locate a business (European Cities Monitor, Cushman&Wakefield, 2011)

  7. Amsterdam has the fastest internet connection in Europe (Akamai, State of the internet, 2011)

  8. The Netherlands ranks 5th in the Global Innovation Index (Insead, 2011)

  9. Amsterdam one of the best European cities to monetise mobile technology because of the presence of companies in mobile, telecommunications, broadcast, social networking, gaming and advertising.

  10. The excellent digital accessibility and high internet penetration attracts many content related companies and data centers to run their European operation or test new B2B and B2C online product & services.

The graphic at right depicts the high level of the Netherlands in 10 major categories, vis-a-vis the International country cohort, as defined by the World Economic Forum.  Note that the Netherlands excels  in all domains.  Click here for a well written report looking at the Netherlands from a wider lens perspective. 

The Economist recently published an important report, looking at a comparison of digital economies, and their e-readiness.  Note that the Netherlands scored highest globally in terms of
consumer and business adoption in a digital economy, and second highest globally (well ahead of the US) in terms of connectivity and technology infrastructure.

[1] Economist Intelligence Unit, 2010

[2] Akamai, 2011

[3] Digital Agenda Scoreboard, 2011

[4] Global Venture Capital and Private Equity Country Attractiveness Index, E&Y, 2011

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