More international companies set up in Amsterdam in 2013

In 2013, 115 new international businesses set up operations in the Amsterdam region, creating 1.727 new jobs.

This is according to Amsterdam inbusiness, an organisation that supports international business in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region (MRA), an area that includes 36 municipalities in North Holland and Flevoland.

The Alderman for Economic Affairs in Amsterdam said that thanks to the MRA's heavy investment in attracting new foreign companies, over the past several years between 100 and 120 have moved to the area annually, proving a boon to anyone looking for a job.

Currently, the MRA is home to 2.500 foreign companies, accounting for 140.000 jobs.

International companies in Amsterdam

In 2013, a large proportion of the companies that set up or strengthened operations were from North America: a total of 44 companies with 860 employees.

Electronic car maker Tesla Motors, for example, opened an office and a showroom here, while fashion conglomerate PVH Europe, which includes the brands Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, increased its operations and employees.

There was also a steady stream of start-ups and small- and medium-sized businesses opening here, wanting to access international markets.

Further, there were more Asian companies establishing themselves here, with 29 new branches and 167 new jobs.

Their presence, while growing, is still smaller than those of other regions, due to the strong comparative growth in Asian economies, which means that acquiring market share closer to home is still easier than competing in the European market.

Finally, 12 new life science firms established themselves in the MRA, eight of which were from the United States.

A number of these are health and medical equipment manufacturers, responding to the growing health demands of ageing populations and new developments in healthcare.

The choice for European companies

There were 37 companies from other European countries that settled in Amsterdam last year, mostly marketing and sales offices which use Amsterdam as a test market for new products.

Other companies, such as logistics company Euroports from Luxembourg, chose Amsterdam because of its strong infrastructure, or nominated the region's internationally oriented business services and a stronger price/quality ratio than those of British, French or German cities.

Head offices in Amsterdam

The Netherlands are in general a popular choice for multinationals to set up a European headquarters in, and last year Amsterdam attracted 23 regional head offices and 53 marketing and sales offices, altogether accounting for 1.392 jobs.

According to Amsterdam inbusiness, their reasons for selecting the region included the fast internet connections, quality of life and availability of local and international talent.

Promoting the region internationally

Part of the MRA's strategy in attracting foreign companies to the region has been to undertake trade missions to target countries.

During the past year, mayors and councillors from the municipalities of Amsterdam, Almere, Amstelveen and Haarlemmermeer have visited China, Brazil, the United States, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

Source: Municipality of Amsterdam


Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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