TopDutch region among the best FDI strategies in Europe

The Northern Netherlands has one of the top-10 foreign direct investment (FDI) strategies in Europe for a region of its size, according to new research from the FDi intelligence division of the Financial Times.


As part of their ‘European Cities and Regions of the Future 2024’ report, the TopDutch region’s FDI strategy was ranked number eight among Europe’s mid-sized regions. The scoring was based on a number of factors, including our high-value ‘smarter, healthier and more sustainable’ investment promotion strategy, the exciting foreign companies that landed or expanded in the TopDutch region last year, and our offer to investors with an ambitious ESG agenda.

The news comes as the Invest in Holland Network, of which TopDutch’s NOM is a part, announced that over 80% of foreign companies supported into the Netherlands in 2023 contribute to finding and developing sustainable, innovative and digital solutions to global challenges.

Strategic focus

TopDutch’s NOM, the Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands, offers foreign organizations support for the (re)location of business in the TopDutch region. In line with that of the Netherlands as a whole, its strategic focus is to attract and retain foreign companies that would fit well within our key ecosystems, and contribute to finding and developing sustainable, innovative and digital solutions to global challenges.

In 2023, more than 80% of the projects actively supported by the Invest in Holland network across the Netherlands aligned with these strategic priorities and will strengthen regional knowledge ecosystems and contribute to the economy and society. This focus helps the Netherlands shape a modern economy in a low-carbon world and, in turn, helps companies arriving in the country connect and collaborate with the high-quality Dutch business community and further develop and market their innovations more quickly.

Hilde van der Meer, Commissioner of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and chair of the Invest in Holland network, said of the country’s 2023 review: “With the Netherlands’ central position in Europe, brilliant international connections and use of English as the language of business, the country is a fantastic place for growing business to expand into. In particular, there are vibrant business ecosystems for key industries such as Energy, ICT, Life Sciences & Health and Agrifood, and we are thrilled to have helped a number of exciting businesses in these sectors, which are strategically aligned to our goals.”

Naturally leading the transition

The TopDutch region has six key industries - energy, green chemistry, life sciences and health, water technology, digital innovation and agrifood. The NOM supports foreign investors we can see making an impact on the ecosystems already thriving in the region, and/or contributing to one or more of the sustainable economic transitions that we’re leading: From linear to circular; from fossil fuels to sustainable energy; and healthy ageing.

In 2023 several of such companies arrived in the TopDutch region. These include three ‘high value’ firms that will help us in our mission to lead the transition: two that will help make the region smarter, and another that makes our economy more sustainable. For example, we welcomed the cutting-edge Californian start-up Aquacycl to Leeuwarden’s WaterCampus as they take the next step in their European expansion. They chose the Northern Netherlands thanks to the region’s ambitious and supportive business environment and access to specialist research and knowledge institutions.

Will you join the TopDutch region?

Setting up business in a foreign country can bring about great benefits. But it also means taking on a host of new challenges. Through N.V. NOM, we’re ready to help you with every stage of the process in (re)locating your business to the TopDutch region.

Our professionals in finance, location/acquisition, business development and networking are here to give businesses from around the world a helping hand. We know the TopDutch region inside out, and TopDutch industries know us. We know the best business locations, which permits you need to have, who the best energy suppliers are, how to find your dream talent, which subsidiaries or grants you may be eligible for, and how to access them. We can also help you with capital or know who to connect you with. How we can help your business?

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