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Discover the US-Netherlands Desk
Language skills of the Dutch people are meeting the needs of enterprises.
Like the U.S. workforce, Dutch workers are among the most productive in the world.
But, unlike most European countries, the Netherlands offers highly skilled immigrants the “red carpet” treatment, which makes it easy to hire talented people from outside of the EU. It also has a favorable (30%) income tax exemption for expatriates.
There are a great amount of commercial transactions between the US and the Netherlands. On the one hand, the Netherlands is one of the largest foreign investors in the US, particularly in the real estate sector, and on the other, many American businesses use the Netherlands as a gateway to Europe and as a holding location for the worldwide subsidiaries. Of all American businesses with a distribution center in Europe, 65% are based in the Netherlands. What are these great advantages of the Netherlands? We present you the answers below, by using the information of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (www.nfia.com).
According to global business information leader Bloomberg, the Netherlands is Europe’s Best Country for Business and ranked number four overall in the world. Bloomberg’s rankings are based on factors such as degree of economic integration, cost of setting up a business, and cost of labor and material. Just a few reasons why so many North American firms - Cisco, Mead Johnson, Nike, Starbucks, Booking.com, NetApp, Forever 21 and Tesla Motors - have their European headquarters there.
Bloomberg published this list of the top 15 best Countries for Business in Europe in 2013:
Not only Bloomberg thinks so. Steve Meyer (president en CEO at Welch Allyn) agrees:
“The Netherlands has established itself as a leading site for European head-quarters for many U.S. companies. As a pro-business country, the Netherlands offered a climate to successfully compete in Europe.”
Choosing a suitable location in Europe is not easy. Do you go to an English speaking country such as Ireland or the UK, or do you want to be on the continent, close to where most of Europe’s 500 million consumers are?
The Netherlands offers you the best of both worlds: It is long been the Gateway to Europe, with nearly half of Europe’s population within a 600-mile radius. Plus, 90% of the Dutch speak English, which is the lingua franca in much of the Dutch business world. At the same time, the Netherlands is rooted firmly on the European continent, and finding employees who speak a third or a fourth language, such as German or French, is very easy.
Young Kwon, General Counsel of Forever 21 comments on this:
“From our research we understood that the Netherlands was one of the key countries where many international companies have settled their headquarters and logistics. It is a centralized location within the European community… and we were of course mindful of the benefits offered by the Netherlands in the areas of duties, taxes and other business matters.”
The Amsterdam-The Hague-Rotterdam Metropolitan Area has eight million inhabitants. Much like San Francisco’s Bay Area, it is set up as a multipolar urban system, with numerous centers of near-equal importance close to one another. This helps make it one of the world’s most accessible and livable metropolitan areas.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is Europe’s fourth-largest airport. It has repeatedly received top honors from travelers, again winning Best Airport in Europe at the 2012 World Airport Awards. More important, the airport is well connected to both national and international rail and is only 20 minutes from the center of Amsterdam.
The Netherlands is also one of Europe’s most wired countries. It is at the core of Europe’s digital backbone - home to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange. Out of the 15 transatlantic data cables, 11 come ashore in the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands’ democratic system, no single party wins an absolute majority. This makes the business climate very stable. Both historically and today, the Netherlands has one of the lowest budget deficits in Europe. All reasons why the Dutch tax system is among the most stable and business friendly in Europe.