World / Europe

Chinese investments in Netherlands hit record high

By Chen Yingqun ( Updated: 2015-03-20 16:25

Chinese enterprises' investment in the Netherlands reached a record 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in 2014, according to a report by the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency on Wednesday.

Thirty-seven Chinese enterprises have put some 197 million euros into Greenfield investments, creating 500 new jobs in the Netherlands in the next three years, said Guy Wittich, the agency's consul and executive director for China.

Greenfield investments are those in which new operational facilities are built from the ground up. Some 900 million euros have been spent on mergers and acquisitions.

More than 500 Chinese companies had set up operations in the Netherlands by the end of 2014. Every year, the agency helps facilitate the addition of another 40 new Chinese companies on average.

"We welcome them as they contribute to our economy by creating new jobs, cooperate with Dutch enterprises in developing new technologies and ventures, and provide better access for their Dutch partner companies to the Chinese market," said Andre Driessen, minister and deputy head of missions of the Netherlands Embassy to China.

Chinese enterprises are mostly involved in electronics, industrial engineering, agriculture, food, information and communications technology, and the chemical industry.

In 2014, the Netherlands was the third biggest investment destination for Chinese enterprises in Europe, after the United Kingdom and Italy, according to New York-based advisory firm Rhodium Group. For four years, China has been the second largest source of investment for the Netherlands.

Research and innovation have become highlights of China's investments in the country, as more companies begin to collaborate with high-tech enterprises and universities in the Netherlands. For example, the Chinese dairy giant Yili Industrial Group established the first overseas Chinese dairy R&D center in Netherlands with Wageningen University.

Driessen said the nation understands that free exchanges and cooperation with other countries is the foundation of economic and social well-being, so the country will always be open to working with China to create opportunities in industry, agriculture and services.

He cited "a focus on innovation, high technology solutions and typical Dutch creativity, which makes our way of doing business interesting, transparent and straightforward".

Wittich also noted some new trends in Chinese investments this year. Chinese enterprises' operations in the Netherlands are being given additional functions, such as becoming the delivery center for the European region, or an office becoming the headquarters for the EU region or the company's regional R&D center, rather than simply doing marketing in Europe.

More mergers and acquisitions are also expected in agriculture and food, auto parts, and financial services. More Chinese companies are forecast to test the waters in real estate in the Netherlands.

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