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A founding member of the European Union, the OECD, and the World Trade Organization, the Netherlands is a small northwestern European country with a powerhouse economy on the global stage. With the most competitive economy in Europe and fourth in the world (according to the World Economic Forum), the country serves as an international hub connecting Western Europe with the rest of the globe through major ports and airports (e.g., Rotterdam and Amsterdam). Additionally, 95% of Europe’s major markets are within a 24-hour drive from these cities, and EU member states receive three-fourths of Dutch exports and provide one-half of the country’s imports.

The Netherlands has the 17th largest economy in the world in terms of GDP and is one of the world’s 10 leading exporters. It ranks first in Europe and second (after the US) worldwide in terms of agricultural exports, and other major industries include energy, chemical, trade, machinery, metallurgy, electrical goods and services, and tourism. Companies here benefit from government-sponsored incentives, a highly educated, multilingual workforce, and a forward-thinking mindset that embraces innovation, sustainability, and digitalization. The country ranks as the fourth best nation for innovators in the EU Innovation Scoreboard 2020 because of the public-private partnerships that produce future-thinking solutions in a vast number of fields, and the telecommunications system is highly advanced. With the country’s high internet and ecommerce penetration and a great infrastructure, the nation is a rising popular destination for retailers looking to expand their logistics, and in the Brexit aftermath, the Netherlands continues to be a top choice for foreign companies due to all the benefits above.


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In the Zuid-Holland region of The Netherlands, Rotterdam is the country’s second largest city known for its rich architectural heritage and design and for being home to Europe’s largest port. The Port of Rotterdam has dominated the world stage since the mid 20th century, and it was the world’s top port for over four decades from 1962 to 2004. Although it has fallen slightly to 11th place in the world’s standing, the port continues to see growth and remains the most important on the continent. This fact, along with the city’s strategic network of railroads, waterways, and roads, earned Rotterdam the official nickname “Gateway to Europe”.   Rotterdam also enjoys the status of being the economic engine of the entire region. It currently has the largest concentration of process industry in the Netherlands, with several oil refineries (Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, Kuwait Petroleum) and many other chemical and related industries. Other strong economic sectors include clean tech, life sciences and health, agriculture and food, transport and logistics, and finance. The city also has a “room for initiatives” concept and a “down to work” mentality that make it an ideal haven for entrepreneurs. Additionally, the city has been included on the ‘Tech Cities of the Future 2020/2021’ ranking by fDi Magazine, and it occupies the 15th spot in the ranking for FDI strategy and is the second ranking Dutch city after Amsterdam (6th position).   Besides being an innovative and entrepreneurial city, Rotterdam is young, modern, and diverse with about 640,000 inhabitants and over 170 nationalities, and it is home to internationally renowned knowledge institutions and universities, the most influential being Erasmus University. More than 50,000 students study in Rotterdam, making it one of the largest student cities in Holland. This also creates a talented and highly skilled workforce, attracting national and international business.   Reasons to believe:


In the Noord-Holland region, the “Venice of the North” is the capital and most populous city in the Netherlands. As one of the top financial centers in Europe and the commercial capital of the nation, Amsterdam is an alpha world city that is home to several Dutch institutions and many of the world’s largest companies or their European headquarters (e.g., Netflix, Uber, and Tesla). With impressive connectivity and a dedication to innovation, this city is one of the top European cities in which to locate an international business and has placed fourth in the fDi Intelligence Global Cities of the Future rankings for 2021-22 and the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking 2021.   Often dubbed “the gateway to Europe”, the Dutch capital is well connected by sea and land to both surrounding and international markets. The Port of Amsterdam is the fifth largest port in Europe with annual goods transshipments of over 82.3 million tons, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the third largest in Europe and sees 71.7 million passengers and 1.57 million tons of cargo per year.   Amsterdam also has a world-leading digital infrastructure and incredible business efficiency. The AMS-IX data exchange is one of the largest in the world, and the city’s broadband penetration and digital literacy has ranked it a European frontrunner in connectivity. Nearly all households have access to broadband internet, and it is one of the best-performing countries in terms of inhabitants who have above average digital skills. The city also has a dynamic business environment with a wide range of industries, a highly skilled workforce, and a knack for fostering innovation.   The Amsterdam Smart City initiative is an attractive highlight that focuses on the future of the city. The cooperation between businesses, academic institutions, the government, and citizens is dedicated to transform Amsterdam into a smart city with projects over six themes: Infrastructure and Technology; Energy, Water & Waste; Mobility; Circular City, Governance and Education; and Citizens and Living. This forward-thinking combined with a growing economy and a high quality of life make the region alluring to entrepreneurs and big brands. Between 2015 and 2020, Amsterdam recorded the highest foreign investment per 100,000 people, and it’s predicted that the number will only grow post-Brexit.   Reasons to believe:

CTP ICon Amsterdam City

Ankerweg 18, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Building Available Space Total Space Status
ALC1 Details 99,500 m² 119,000 m² built

Currently Unavailable Space in Netherlands

CTP Icon Rotterdam

Available now: 0 m2

Park size: 30,000 ha


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Ronald Dasbach

Managing Director, Netherlands

Ronald Dasbach

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