101 new companies "a good result"

New figures released by amsterdam inbusiness have revealed 101 international companies opened offices in the Amsterdam Area in 2020, while 35 foreign companies already established in the region expanded their operations. In total, this helped to create 4,455 new jobs. 

Welcoming the news, Amsterdam’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs Victor Everhardt said: "When it comes to attracting foreign companies, every year we reset the counter to zero. And in a year when we were hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, the fact that more than 100 companies chose the Amsterdam Area is a good result. What is even better is that combined with the companies that expanded in 2020, they created almost 4,500 new jobs. Of course, we will continue to do our utmost in 2021 to attract and retain foreign companies."

Business in the Amsterdam Area

More companies opened offices across the region

More companies than ever – 29% of new arrivals – chose to open an office in the wider Amsterdam Area, outside Amsterdam’s city limits. 

Most of the new companies are in the tech sector, followed by financial & business services, transport & logistics and the creative industries. These are followed by consumer goods & electronics and life sciences & health. The majority of companies and jobs came from the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa), followed by Asia. While the number of new jobs from North American arrivals dropped by more than 60%, the region accounted for the bulk of expansions, creating more than 70% of the jobs.

The impact of COVID-19 and Brexit

The effects of the pandemic had the biggest impact on the number of headquarters of international companies that opened in the Amsterdam Area, dropping from a yearly average of 35 to eight in 2020. The impact varied across sectors; the number of new tech companies fell by a third, while the number of new jobs remained roughly the same as in 2019. In financial & business services, the number of companies and jobs fell by about two-thirds. Many new jobs were created in the agri-food and consumer goods & electronics sectors, despite the number of new companies remaining the same.

The Amsterdam Area continued to attract businesses looking to remain or expand their presence within the EU following Brexit. In 2020, 27 companies cited Brexit as a contributing factor to their arrival or expansion in the Amsterdam Area, bringing the total number of companies that have done so since the 2016 referendum to 139. Amsterdam’s innovative spirit and availability of English-speaking, highly educated talent appeals to a wide range of businesses, while the city’s connectivity gives it a competitive edge.

About amsterdam inbusiness

amsterdam inbusiness is the official foreign investment agency of the Amsterdam Area (Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Almere, Haarlemmermeer). The figures are published by amsterdam inbusiness in collaboration with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency.

Read more business news from around the Amsterdam Area.