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Inversió estrangera directa (IED) als Països Baixos

FDI in Figures

According to UNCTAD's 2022 World Investment Report, FDI flows to the Netherlands were negative by USD 81 billion in 2021, a trend that continued from the previous year, when net divestment stood at USD 105.3 billion due to large equity divestments following the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, the total stock of FDIs reached USD 2.5 trillion. In the same year outflows from the Netherlands - usually among the largest investing countries in Europe – resumed and reached USD 28 billion. According to data by the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), the number of companies investing in the country went back to 2019 levels: overall, 423 new projects were registered, with an estimated total investment value of EUR 2.3 billion in the first three years. These projects are expected to create nearly 13,400 direct jobs. Around 65% of direct investment is in Special Purpose Entities (SPEs) and holdings. In 2021 most investment in the Netherlands was made by U.S. enterprises (around 20%), followed by the UK, Germany, Luxembourg and France (CBS). Shell’s relocation from the Netherlands to the UK on 31 December 2021 prompted a rise in inward investment in the country, as the elements of the multinational that are still registered in the Netherlands are now under foreign ownership. The majority of the multinationals in Netherlands are active in the wholesale and retail trade sector (around 37.8%), followed by specialised business services (16.2%), manufacturing (13.9%), and information and communication (12.3% - CBS). According to the latest figures from OECD, FDI inflows to the Netherlands reached a record high of USD 40.8 billion in the first semester of 2022, compared to a negative inflow of USD 16 billion recorded in the same period one year earlier.

The Dutch investment policy is characterized by a strong international orientation and a liberal policy towards foreign investment. Many Dutch companies are multinational by nature and some of these are listed on foreign stock markets. The Netherlands offer a competitive fiscal climate, advanced infrastructures, and a strategic location. On the other hand, the country has a small internal market and is heavily dependent on the economic performance of its partners (especially in the EU). Sector-specific screening regimes are in place for the telecommunication sector, electricity and gas. In 2022, a new FDI screening mechanism has been adopted for investments in undertakings active in vital processes or sensitive technology (including dual-use items and military goods). The country is ranked 4th out of 82 economies in the Business Environment ranking published by The Economist and 6th out of 63 in the Global Competitiveness Ranking.

Foreign Direct Investment 202020212022
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) -86,507-77,453-67,340
FDI Stock (million USD) 2,721,3292,744,4502,683,600
Number of Greenfield Investments* 293319322
Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD) 6,8418,4828,980

Source: UNCTAD, Latest available data

Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors Netherlands OECD United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 4.0 6.5 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 4.0 5.3 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 6.0 7.3 9.0 5.0

Source: Doing Business, Latest available data

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action.

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What to consider if you invest in the Netherlands

Strong Points

The main assets of the country's economy are :

  • An overall stable political and macroeconomic environment above the European average, healthy public finances and a highly developed financial sector; 
  • Highly developed communication and transport infrastructures
  • A qualified, productive and multilingual workforce that makes it suitable for export trade
  • A strategic geographical location, which makes it a gateway to the main European markets
  • Exports are diversified and external accounts are in surplus thanks to export-friendly structures and infrastructure.  
Weak Points

The main weaknesses of the country for FDI are:

  • High costs of the workforce
  • The small size of the internal market
  • A great dependence on the world economic situation and, in particular, the EU
  • Banks dependent on wholesale financing and real estate
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
The Dutch government offers several types of financial support: grants, tax incentives, guarantees, credits, participations, subordinated loans stimulating innovation and sustainable foreign investment and entrepreneurship.

  • The WBSO (Research and Development Act). This is an R&D tax credit from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. It aims to offer entrepreneurs an incentive to invest in R&D, allowing companies to decrease costs for R&D.
  • Energy Investment Allowance (EIA): allows companies to deduct 45% of the investment cost of energy-saving equipment from the taxable profit in addition to the deduction of the customary depreciation.
  • Environmental Investment Deduction (MIA): allows companies to deduct up to 36% of the investment costs for an environmentally friendly investment on top of the regular investment tax deductions
  • Arbitrary depreciation of environmental investments (Vamil): allows companies to amortize 75% of the investment costs of a qualifying environmentally friendly investment at once.
  • Innovation box: Income that is a result from R&D is taxed at an effective rate of 7% (the normal tax rate is 25%).
  • Dutch Good Growth Fund supports SMEs that are prepared to invest in developing countries and emerging markets.
  • Export Credit Insurance is focused on promoting Dutch exports.

Moreover there are the regional incentives offered by the EU:
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF is mainly focused on strengthening economic and social cohesion in the EU by correcting imbalances between its regions.
The European Territorial Co-operation (INTERREG). This programme, which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), finances and supports international co-operation within particular European regions.

All government measures can be consulted on the website of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency.

Bilateral investment conventions signed by the Netherlands
The Netherlands has signed BITs with a large number of countries. You can consult the list on the UNCTAD's website. 

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Actualitzacions: November 2023

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