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Country gains over one hundred foreign firms in 2004

Noord-Brabant lands most new jobs

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BREDA - The Netherlands has attracted over one hundred investment projects in 2004, representing nearly 2,500 new jobs, according to the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), the government agency that helps foreign companies establish operations in the country.

The projects involve a total planned capital investment of around $350 million. North American firms at 56 represented more than half of all the projects, the majority of jobs and most of the capital investment over that period. Thirty-six projects came from Asia (Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China). The remainder is European.

About one-third of the projects involved establishing European headquarters; 16 are for marketing and sales operations; 14 are European distribution centres; and ten for manufacturing facilities. The largest group among the companies locating in the Netherlands is involved in the information/communication technology sector (21), followed by the life sciences sector, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical technology (17); also well-represented are the chemical, food and automotive fields.

Half of the newcomers settled in the two western provinces, North and South Holland. The southern province of Noord-Brabant attracted 21, but leads with 1,040 new jobs and $125 million in investments.

Of the companies investing heavily in Noord-Brabant last year is U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories, a world leader in health care. The firm, with corporate headquarters in Illinois, is building its European distribution centre in the Brabant town of Breda. Its new Dutch head office was established last year in Hoofddorp, near Schiphol.