by AFP/ pic by BLOOMBERG
THE HAGUE – Nearly 100 international companies have moved to the Netherlands and 325 more are interested owing to uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the EU, Dutch officials said Monday.
British businesses are showing major interest but firms from North America, Asia and Australia are also eyeing a shift to the Netherlands, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) said.
“The ongoing growing uncertainty in the United Kingdom, and the increasingly clearer possibility of a no deal, is causing major economic unrest for these companies,” NFIA chief Jeroen Nijland said.
“That is why more and more companies are orienting themselves in the Netherlands as a potential new base in the European market,” he added in a statement.
The first 62 companies that moved due to Brexit had created around 2,500 jobs and 310 million euros ($345 million) in investment, broadcaster NOS reported.
Companies including financial data provider Bloomberg and the European headquarters of the Discovery channel are among those who have shifted recently.
Most of those in the first wave “have urgent reasons, for example because of a banking license or broadcasting rights to remain active in the EU”, the Dutch agency said.
The Dutch remain in competition with France, Ireland, Germany and Belgium in particular for the spoils of Brexit business, said the NFIA.
“The NFIA expects that the Brexit results will grow further in the coming months,” it added.
“Brexit remains bad news for the Netherlands, but with Brexit more companies are going to choose our country in the coming years,” the agency said.
Japanese electronics giants Sony and Panasonic said several months ago that they were moving their European headquarters across the North Sea to the Netherlands.
In addition to relocations by corporations, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), an EU agency, has moved from London to Amsterdam as it could not legally remain in a non-EU country.
Britain is to leave the EU on October 31, with fears growing that it will crash out without a divorce deal, causing huge disruption to trade and transport ties.