The Dutch metropolitan area of Amsterdam and Rotterdam is the 3rd most attractive urban region for FDI (foreign direct investments), according to IBM’s Global Location Trends report (2016). The top position for Amsterdam-Rotterdam is largely the result of the cities’ efforts in positioning themselves for business services and ICT investment. Many foreign companies currently view the Amsterdam-Rotterdam region as the preferred entry-point for the European market. For Rotterdam this is the second top ranking for its FDI climate after reaching 9th position in the Financial Times fDi index (Large Cities) earlier this year.
Globally, 2015 marked another year of growth in foreign direct investments, with the number of jobs created from FDI growing 3 percent year-to-year. The growth in FDI points to a continued interest in strategic investments that enhance access to markets, resources, talent and improved operating costs, states IBM. Companies continue to internationalize and seek opportunities around the world, despite growing uncertainty about several key economies and the future political commitment to globalization.
Rotterdam showing strong performance in business services cluster
Rotterdam is doing very well in the business services cluster, showing strong performances in the sectors Insurance & Risk and IT. Rotterdam is a leading European city when it comes to business insurance, with big players like Marsh, Lloyds’, Aon, Allianz, The Navigators Group and JLT Netherlands present in the city. In 2016 the International Insurance Exchange returned to Rotterdam when the VNAB opened a trading floor in the city.
The IT sector is another sector where Rotterdam is making great strides. The city and region have a fast growing and very active innovation ecosystem with hubs, co-working spaces and special programmes aimed at supporting developing new products technologies and services that will bring the Rotterdam economy forward. CIC and Venture Café, ECE, YES!Delft are examples of these active start-up and innovation hotspots. Companies that have recently chosen to setup or expand their business in Rotterdam include Bell ID, Apprenda and Tendril. Recently KPN has chosen to relocate their head office from The Hague to Rotterdam because of the city’s modern, industrial image that fits with KPN’s technical and IT related activities.