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The Netherlands

Prime Moves

A publication of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency | July 2013 | UK & Ireland Edition

NFIA results for 2012 In 2012, the NFIA supported 170 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth over €930 million, which helped create some 5,166 jobs. “Despite continuing economic difficulties, we have succeeded in attracting high quality investment projects,” says Bas Pulles, Commissioner NFIA. “Just over half of the 170 projects originated from Asia, 36% were from North America. Sectors such as manufacturing, IT, chemicals, and distribution all showed strong growth.” “In 2013, the NFIA will continue to focus on supporting high quality projects in our priority sectors,” concludes Bas Pulles, “and we will do our utmost best to attract and retain jobs and enterprises.” Source: Frans Geopotes

Maasvlakte II: new door opens The official opening of Maasvlakte II brings the UK and the Netherlands even closer. “The Port is now 20% bigger and the container capacity has doubled – throwing the door open for the newest generation of container ships,” announced Hans Smits, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority; as Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, officially opened Maasvlakte II to shipping. The area is fully accessible by road, rail and water and the port now has 700 hectares more land for business


sites, with a further 300 hectares to be added in the second phase. Plans for a new bio-chemical industry park are also already well advanced. Ties Elzinga, Director NFIA UK & Ireland explains, “It is extraordinary, that when this port expansion project began in 2008, Maasvlakte II did not exist on any map. We have built 1,000 ha of industrial land where the North Sea was once 17 metres deep. This huge infrastructure project offers some significant new logistics opportunities and is another reason why the Netherlands is the logical next step for UK-based companies looking to expand into Europe.”

Fashion Gateway to Europe






Prime Moves


The Dutch are 3rd best in the world at English Education First tested 1.7 billion people from 54 non-English speaking countries and the Swedes, Danes and Dutch took the top three places in the new English Profinciency Index (EPI). “Our research shows a connection between high English proficiency and high levels of export, innovation and gross national product,” says Petra Cubretovic of Education First. “It demonstrates the importance of a good command of the leading global business language.” Source: Education First

In stylish company Many fashion companies have already chosen the Netherlands for their pan-European headquarters or European Distribution Centre (EDC) to coordinate and consolidate their European business. There is also an abundance of specialised fashion logistics providers. The main reasons given for this concentration are: • •

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a central location in the European market; a transit country for cargo via the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol International Airport, to other European countries; regional airports that handle business and charter flights to many European destinations; advanced and extensive infrastructure, which offers good connections to neighbouring countries; a network of high-quality highways that are considered the safest in the world; very low transport tariffs to and from the Netherlands; cost efficient logistics outsourcing solutions; competitive fiscal environment; an internationally oriented creative business community and extensive network of support services, such as advertising agencies, law firms, international fashion shows, trend watchers and pattern makers; flexible, productive and highly educated multilingual labour force; well organised customs.

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Source: VanderLande Industries

Fashion Gateway to Europe The Netherlands is home to some of Europe’s best design schools and with this creative, cosmopolitan atmosphere is fast becoming a major fashion centre. But, the fashion industry is not just about design. A worldclass logistics infrastructure also makes the Netherlands highly competitive as a fashion distribution location. The growth of e-commerce We tend to associate the fashion business with high streets and shopping malls but there is enormous potential in the European

e-commerce market. There are around 518 million Internet users in Europe, making it the biggest e-market in the world. And, 40% of EU shoppers are already buying online. The compound growth rate of online retailing in Europe from 2012 - 2017 is forecast to be 11%; while mobile spending across Europe is set to grow to €19.2 billion by 2017, representing 6.8% of online sales. The Netherlands enjoys a central location in this major market, with 170 million people living within a 300-mile radius of the country.

A coordinated fashion industry

Case study:

The Dutch fashion industry knows many international players, like Nike, Helly Hansen and Esprit. Within the industry, some brands have in-house logistics operations, whereas others use specialised fashion logistics service providers (LSPs). In-house distribution tends to be better value for high volume businesses and enables the company to retain full control of every step of the fulfilment process. However, outsourcing to an LSP can be more cost efficient for smaller volume producers. Depending on the business, all logistic solutions are available in The Netherlands

Menlo Worldwide Logistics has recently established a new distribution centre for Fox Head (owners of action-sports clothing brand Fox) at its Eersel Logistics Centre in Brabant.

The Netherlands has a large number of these LSPs, offering specialised warehousing, IT systems, detailed market knowledge, and back office services such as web-shop development, web statistics, online marketing, customer track & trace services, and multi-channel customer contact services. Source: Forrester Research: European Online Retail Forecast 2012-2017

Menlo, the global logistics subsidiary of Con-way Inc., provides transport management services for inbound product and distribution to the Fox dealer network. It will also handle inventory and warehousing management, order fulfilment and dispatch. “Menlo’s flexibility and willingness to adopt our in-house voice recognition system, for order fulfilment, was critical to our decision to move to Eersel,” says Robby Dhesi, Fox Head’s Vice President of Operations. “We have been impressed with the improvements in the speed of order filling when using the system in our US and European operations. In addition, Menlo’s processdriven approach to creating savings, their lean philosophy, and lean continuous improvement programmes are consistent with the Fox culture.”

“From our research we understood that the Netherlands was one of the key countries where many international companies have settled their headquarters and logistics. Among other advantages, it has a central location in the European community. The Netherlands workforce is also multi-lingual, which is a key component in effective communication with employees in various retail locations throughout Europe. At the same time, it ensures that we provide quality service to our e-commerce customers as we continue to build our customer base in Europe.” Young Kwon, Forever 21 “Fashionwheels (a Fashion LSP) maintains clean and well organised warehouse facilities that enable us to maintain an excellent stock programme for our retailers worldwide. The company’s inhouse customs department makes exporting from the Netherlands an easy procedure and, through the excellent services provided by Fashionwheels BV, we have been able to grow our international business.” A.J. de Vries, president at Andrew J Spanx Interested in discussing panEuropean logistics solutions for your company? The NFIA will be travelling throughout in the UK and Ireland in October 2013 together with a logistics and Customs expert.

Source: Vlisco

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Please contact us to set up a dedicated meeting for any questions on supply chain or e-commerce opportunities in the Netherlands. You can reach us by emailing info@ or by calling us on (+44) 207 590 3286

Founded in 1996 by former University of Maryland football player Kevin Plank, Under Armour is the originator of performance apparel for athletes. The company is headquartered in Baltimore. The Under Armour brand is also active on the UK market and has official relationships with football club Tottenham Hotspur and the Welsh Rugby team. Under Armour’s mission is to provide the world with technically advanced products engineered with superior Cloudreach, a pioneering cloud computing start-up that works in close partnership with Google and Amazon, has recently moved part of its business to the Netherlands following some phenomenal growth over the last two years. Cloudreach is at the forefront of computing technology, working with their customers to use cloud computing for such things as processing DNA sequences, transforming business operations with Google Apps, Android and Salesforce, or hosting complex multi-million pound e-commerce platforms. As a consultancy, their work is very varied with a broad range of programming languages, development platforms and technology stacks. Cloudreach wanted to find the most effective avenue of expanding the business, so undertook a thorough analysis of where an expansion

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fabric construction, exclusive moisture management, and proven innovation. Under Armour fabrics are engineered to keep athletes cool, dry, and light throughout the course of a game or workout.

of the Under Armour business, and provides the accessibility to those markets through Schiphol airport. Additionally, Amsterdam offers a talented workforce with both national and international origins.

International distribution is primarily focused on the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Austria, but also includes thirdparty distributors in areas such as Australia, Benelux, Italy, and New Zealand as well as a licensee in Japan.

The company has two offices located at the Olympic Stadium in Old South plus a third- party warehouse facility since 2011. “The scale of our operations in Amsterdam has grown with demand,” he says. “Our primary function is sales and marketing, but there is growing European need to add more focus on product, finance, and administration,” says Tripodi. “We see these departments becoming much more important to the business overseas.”

Under Armour established its European Headquarters in Amsterdam in 2006. According to Blair Tripodi, Director International Marketing, the Netherlands is central to the most important regions

would have most effect. They needed to find a business friendly environment, with the suitable technological infrastructure and cloud ready market, which would also facilitate continued work with their business partners. Cloudreach found that place in The Netherlands. “For a relatively small country, it has a large population. In fact, we found the market place to have similar characteristics to the South East of England. On top of this, we consider our operations in the Netherlands to be our Benelux operations, such is the ease of access to the other Benelux countries. Our investment also makes a great starting point should we consider further investment into Europe in the future.” “The people at the NFIA in London were super friendly,” continues Pontus,

“and they gave us a lot of insights into location, regulatory frameworks, and the technical requirements of moving part of the business to the Netherlands. They put us in touch with a contact in Amsterdam who was incredibly helpful in finding us office space and the lawyers we needed to set up the business. So, they have been really good in terms of all of the practicalities of getting the operation off the ground.” “We have never invested in another country, but I cannot imagine the process being so simple anywhere else as it has been in the Netherlands. I understand that some of the other larger countries have significantly more time consuming regulations. As far as entering a new country goes I think the process has been well supported, quick and painless.”


Source: RVD; photo by Jeroen van der Meyde

Willem-Alexander installed as King of the Netherlands Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands announced her abdication in January and on 30 April the investiture of her son, King WillemAlexander, took place in the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, where all Dutch kings and queens have been installed for centuries. In an emotional address to over 2,000 guests, King Willem-Alexander paid tribute to his mother’s dedicated and loyal service to the country over the last 33 years. He also outlined his new role as Europe’s youngest monarch in a

New Senior Project Manager, Mr Maarten Stevelink Newly arrived in London, Mr Maarten Stevelink has joined the NFIA UK & Ireland team based at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Maarten succeeds Ms Desiree Poldermans, who has stepped down after seven years with the NFIA. Maarten has many years experience working with international com-

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speech that emphasised democracy, unity, mutual trust, and opportunity. Tens of thousands of Dutch people gathered in Dam Square to show their support and affection, turning the city into a sea of orange painted faces, hats, wigs, flags and banners. In the UK, Dutch nationals celebrated the Royal Succession with a day of activities at the Dutch Centre in the City of London hosted by the Netherlands’ Ambassador, Laetitia van den Assum. panies, including assisting North American multinational corporations and private equity firms as a relationship manager with Intertrust Group. He started his professional career as a lawyer at leading international law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek in the Netherlands in 2007. Maarten holds a LLM and a BSc in Information Science from the University of Utrecht. NFIA Executive Director Mr Ties Elzinga is delighted to have him on board. “Maarten’s professional experience and knowledge of the Dutch investment climate will be essential to take our office to the next level,” he says. “We will continue our ambitions to provide the best and swiftest possible service to foreign companies looking to expand to mainland Europe.”

Director’s Cut Ties Elzinga, Executive Director NFIA UK & Ireland shares his views. The first half year of 2013 has been a remarkable period for the Netherlands. April was the month of the installation of King Willem-Alexander – the first king in over 120 years. He immediately showed his passion for international relations by heading a trade mission to Germany. May was the month of the opening of the Maasvlakte 2, a new highlight in innovative Dutch engineering – an artificial land reclamation growing the Port of Rotterdam 20% larger and doubling its container capacity. It is the dawn of a new era for the Netherlands. NFIA UK & Ireland is looking back at some very successful events (India and Japan), nevertheless the next half year also has enough on offer. Upcoming events are amongst others SPE offshore in Aberdeen in September and a logistics road show in October. The Netherlands is a frontrunner in innovation and will continue to offer a competitive investment climate. We are looking forward to meeting you and assisting you with any question you might have!

Prime Moves British department store group Marks & Spencer returns to the Netherlands with a new store in Amsterdam. Indian engineering company Geometric will open its new Benelux head office at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. “Our move to the High Tech Campus means we are now also close to other prominent knowledge centers in the Benelux.” US-based Forever Direct opens their new EMEA distribution centre in Roosendaal, the Netherlands. Founder & CEO Rex Maughan: “In North West Europe, the Netherlands is one of the best locations for logistics.” Cloud company SingleHop established a new data center in Amsterdam. The facility will help SingleHop meet growing demand for high quality dedicated and cloud infrastructure in Europe. UK-owned retail chain Action (3i) will be building a new distribution center in Echt-Susteren in Limburg, the Netherlands. All 340 stores will be supplied from the new Benelux distribution centre. Techshino Technology, a Chinese security company, set up their new European HQ at The Hague Security Delta (HSD). The company is active in biometric identification and data security and will be part of the international security cluster in The Hague region.

Source: Hannah Anthonysz / Rotterdam Image Bank

Summer has arrived Enjoy the warm weather!

Meet the NFIA • • •

Wednesday 24 July: National Gallery Private View of Vermeer exhibition Dutch Embassy networking reception Friday 30 August: Fringe Festival - Edinburgh Concertgebouw Orchestra concert & company meetings Wednesday 4 September: SPE Offshore Europe - Aberdeen Dutch Embassy networking reception & company meetings

Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) is a division of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs which has been established with the objective of providing assistance and information to companies interested in setting-up, expanding or restructuring their pan-European operations in the Netherlands. The NFIA is here to assist you at every stage and with every aspect of your strategic decision making by offering a combination of information, advice and practical help in strict confidence, without any obligation. Contact us today or visit our website for more detailed information on how we can take care of your business. While information in this newsletter has been compiled from reliable sources, the Government of the Netherlands takes no legal responsibility for any of the statements made. Articles in this newsletter may only be reproduced with permission of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency.

Editorial: Wendy Sayer

NFIA UK & Ireland 38 Hyde Park Gate London SW7 5DP United Kingdom T: +44 20 7590 3286 F +44 20 7584 3396

Prime Moves Newsletter July 2013  
Prime Moves Newsletter July 2013  

Newsletter on economic developments in the Netherlands with a special on Logistics.