63 new companies and expansions in 2021 strengthen the economy in the East Netherlands

More than sixty new companies decided to establish themselves or expand their activities in the East Netherlands with the help of Oost NL in 2021. This is over 40% more than in 2020. These companies will invest almost 260 million euros in the East Netherlands in the coming years. These business investments will strengthen the economy of Gelderland and Overijssel. They will create a total of 1,400 new jobs.

The 260 million euros of business investment is a doubling compared to 2020 (115 million euros). This increase can be explained by a catch-up effect. After the pandemic broke out in full force in 2020, companies postponed their (foreign) investments massively. Many postponed new establishments and company expansions were realised in the course of 2021.

The breakdown by province shows that slightly more than half of the companies landed in Gelderland and slightly more than half of the jobs were created in Overijssel. Over a third of the investment projects involved R&D establishments; this underlines the profile of the East Netherlands as a knowledge-intensive region. The 63 companies are active in the agri-food, life sciences & health, high-tech, energy storage and logistics sectors. Companies that form a valuable addition to existing business clusters. The US was by far the largest foreign investor in the East Netherlands, followed by Japan and the UK. The large number of investments from the Scandinavian countries is striking. Good examples are the establishment of the R&D centre of the Japanese Fuji Oil in Wageningen, the Belgian e-health specialist Innovation Sprint in Enschede, the Canadian Tyromer in Arnhem and the European hub of the British water sports wholesaler Wetsuit Outlet in Deventer.

"We have almost completely eliminated the backlog of acquisitions caused by Covid-19. We have worked intensively with our Invest in Holland partners: the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and the other regional development agencies. Also worth mentioning: together with RVO and the other ROMs, we have won a large European commission. It concerns the implementation of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). This offers new opportunities to bring East Netherlands SMEs into contact with interesting trade and innovation partners throughout Europe. We are very happy with that," says Fons de Zeeuw, International Director of Oost NL.

Wendy de Jong, general director of Oost NL: "We focus on strategic acquisition by proactively making contact with companies that contribute to strong ecosystems in our regional economy. Where necessary, we also offer new companies support with innovation and financing. In 2021, Oost NL contributed nearly 95 million euros in R&D investments to the region. An increase of 18 million euros from the year before. Working together to create a good business climate is essential for this. That is why I am asking administrators and politicians to pay extra attention to the available space for the economy, energy and water.

Invest in Holland' - national results
Invest in Holland' is the partnership in which the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), together with Oost NL and other regional partners, attracts foreign companies on a national level. In 2021, 423 international companies chose our country with the help of the Invest in Holland network. In the first three years, these companies expect to create almost 13,400 direct jobs and invest EUR 2.3 billion in their projects. This brings the number of companies choosing the Netherlands back to the level of 2019. In 2020, the number was substantially lower when, partly influenced by Corona, foreign companies postponed or changed investment decisions.

The GO4EXPORT programme, which Oost NL implements on behalf of the provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland together with regional partners, also exceeded expectations. Thirty-five events were organised to support SMEs in the East of the Netherlands in entering into and developing trade with foreign parties. Most events were digital due to travel restrictions. For example, we organised a digital trade mission to Japan and a physical trade fair visit to the United Kingdom. In total, we reached over 700 SMEs in the East Netherlands in 2021 with events and bilateral discussions on foreign trade. We did this together with partners in the region such as Foodvalley NL, RCT Gelderland, Kennispoort Zwolle and MKB Deventer.

2021 in figures
Read more about the impact of Oost NL on the region.