The Netherlands offers a favourable combination of assets to foreign investors. Below are ten reasons why the Netherlands is one of the best countries to invest in.
A strategic location in Europe
The Netherlands provides a strategic location to serve markets within Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The central geographical position of the Netherlands, combined with accessibility and an excellent infrastructure, is only one of the reasons why numerous European, American and Asian companies have located their facilities in the Netherlands.
A competitive fiscal climate
The Dutch tax system has a number of features that may be very beneficial in international tax planning. These include a corporation tax rate of 20 percent on the first €200,000 and 25 percent on taxable profits exceeding €200,000. In addition, the Dutch ruling practice provides clarity and certainty on future tax positions in advance. In respect of R&D, companies can benefit from the innovation box, resulting in an effective corporation tax rate of only 5 percent, and an R&D allowance (WBSO) in the form of wage-tax and social-security contribution deductions. Dutch tax law also provides the participation exemption, which states that all benefits related to a qualifying shareholding are exempt from Dutch corporation tax, and a fiscal unit regime, designed to freely offset profits and losses among group members. There are also advantages in debt and loss structuring, and a wide tax treaty network, resulting in a reduction of taxes on dividends, interests and royalties.
Additionally, there is the 30 percent ruling, which is a tax-free reimbursement of 30 percent of the employee’s salary, provided that the employee has been recruited or assigned from abroad and has specific expertise scarce in the Dutch labour market. Finally, the Dutch Customs authorities are well known for their practical and pro-active approach to facilitating international trade and optimising customs procedures. This fact underlies the Netherlands’ preferred status as a country in which to base import activities.
A superior logistics and technology infrastructure
The largest and most important seaport of Europe is located in the Netherlands, while Schiphol Airport is ranked as Europe’s best airport for both cargo and passenger transport. The Netherlands is also classified as one of the most ‘wired’ countries in the world; a dynamic force in electronic commerce, communications and outsourcing. More than a decade of investment in high-speed internet, cable and digital communication systems, as well as the rapid adoption of state-of-the-art computer and cell phone technology, have created an ideal base for companies seeking to take advantage of modern technology.
A conducive innovation environment
Holland’s open innovation approach and well-organised public-private partnerships offer a favourable environment for companies looking for business acceleration. Together with a mind-set of creativity, collaboration and reliability – and a top scientific sector – Holland is able to guarantee the most important drivers in ‘innovation location’ choices for foreign investors.
An international business environment
The Netherlands, long Europe’s trading crossroads, is an obvious choice to locate a pan-European operation – whether it’s a European head office, a shared services centre, a customer care centre, a distribution and logistics operation, or an R&D facility. The country’s pro-business environment creates a gateway to Europe that helps international companies succeed throughout the continent. An international outlook and openness to foreign investment is firmly ingrained in the Dutch culture, and this has yielded a wealth of world-class business partners who know how to deal with global business challenges in today’s economy.
A strong workforce
The Netherlands features one of the most highly educated, flexible and motivated workforces in Europe. Dutch professionals are also among the most multilingual in the world, enabling them to operate successfully in companies across any industry, serving customers throughout the continent. What’s more, Dutch law offers employers a range of contract possibilities to flexibly procure employees.
An attractive quality of life
The Netherlands is proud to have a high standard of living, whilst maintaining an affordable life for its residents. The costs of living, housing, education and cultural activities are lower than in most Western-European countries. Furthermore, a wide range of cultural and leisure activities are open to Dutch citizens and visitors alike. Whether it’s spending a leisurely afternoon on the beach, enjoying culinary delights or going to one of the cities’ acclaimed theatres or opera houses, the new expatriate is soon made to feel that the Netherlands is a most welcoming and entertaining country.