Netherlands a bridge for Chinese investors into Europe, says NFIA commissioner
The Netherlands, which is presently China’s second largest European trading partner, could serve as a gateway for Chinese investors to enter Europe, Jeroen Nijland, Commissioner of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), said in an exclusive interview with China Daily on Tuesday.
Nijland and representatives from 29 Dutch companies and organizations visited China in June to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of friendly relations between Rotterdam and Shanghai. The delegation was led by Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb.
Rotterdam is one of the first five Western cities to have a sister relationship with Shanghai.
According to Nijland, the NFIA has over the past five years helped a total of 156 Chinese enterprises to invest in Holland, with investments totaling more than 360 million euros ($408 million). The organization has also supported more than 2,000 public and private Dutch organizations to do business in China.
Last year, the NFIA presented the “Invest in Holland” Outstanding Contribution Award to 19 companies in China, including Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Inc which had established a branch in the Netherlands in 2012.
“These investments have contributed significantly to the development of our local economy and the bilateral economic and trade relations,” said Nijland.
According to official data, bilateral trade volume between the two countries rose to $85.4 billion as of the end of 2018. In addition, more than 700 business by Chinese companies were set up in the Netherlands that same year, creating over 16,000 jobs.
“The economic ties between China and the Netherlands are already strong and long-lasting. The fast-growing market demand offers opportunities for entrepreneurs in both countries,” he said.
Nijland noted that Chinese businesses related to technology, life science, pharmaceutical and chemical industries have been growing rapidly in the Netherlands, with companies in the High Tech Systems and Materials sectors experiencing the fastest growth.
“The Netherlands boasts a strategic location in the center of the three largest economies, namely Germany, UK and France. It is well connected to the European market because of the biggest seaport we have in Rotterdam,” he said.
“With a supportive corporate income tax system, attractive innovation and R&D incentives, highly educated workforce, superior logistics and technology infrastructure as well as a politically and economically stable environment, the Netherlands provides an outstanding business climate for companies to establish their operations.”
As an operational unit of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the NFIA has been operating in China for more than 13 years. It has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing municipality which help Chinese enterprises to find local partners in the Netherlands.