34 percent more Belgian enterprises in the Netherlands
In 2020, the Netherlands had nearly 15 percent more foreign-owned multinationals compared to 2015; the number of multinational enterprises with a Belgian majority stake was up by 34 percent. This was the largest increase in absolute terms among the top 10 countries of origin. Altogether 390 more firms with a Belgian majority stake were added after 2015. The value added generated by Belgian-owned firms increased from 2.5 billion euros in 2015 to 4.6 billion euros in 2020. At the same time, their staff numbers rose from 31 thousand to 50 thousand. Nevertheless, in terms of staffing, Belgian multinationals still lagged far behind their British counterparts, which offered employment to over 70 thousand more people in the Netherlands.
1 in 3 Belgian-owned firms active in Dutch trade
In 2020, wholesale and retail trade retained its position as the sector with the largest number of foreign-owned enterprises. Of the 1,528 Belgian-owned multinationals here, 508 operated in the wholesale and retail sector, contributing a value added of 907 million euros. They mainly included producers of non-food, industrial machinery and foodstuffs. Other Belgian-owned multinationals were predominantly active in specialised business services, manufacturing and information and communication.
Information and communication along with manufacturing had the largest value added
In the period 2015-2020, the number of Belgian-owned firms in the information and communication sector rose by 67 percent. The growth was primarily found in service sector activities in the area of information technology, such as software development. The Belgian-owned firms in information and communication combined generated a value added of 1.2 billion euros. In 2020, the highest value added was posted by Belgian manufacturing multinationals.
|Bedrijfstak||Number of enterprises||Value added (million euros)|
|Specialised business services||245||216|
|Information & communication||188||1212|
|Other business services||100||321|
|Transport & storage||93||257|
Belgian-owned multinationals more active in border regions
Aside from locations in the (COROP) regions with the largest cities, e.g. Greater Amsterdam, Greater Rijnmond, Utrecht and South East Noord-Brabant, many Belgian firms choose border regions, including West Noord-Brabant (350 locations), South Limburg (215), Mid Noord-Brabant (125) and Zeelandic Flanders (115). These firms largely operate in wholesale and commission trade, retail trade, and service activities in the area of information technology. Enterprises controlled from more distant countries (e.g. the US, the UK and China) have their subsidiaries mainly in the large cities around the Randstad conurbation.
|COROP||Belgian business locations|
|Agglomeratie Leiden en Bollenstreek||45|
|Alkmaar en omgeving||35|
|Delft en Westland||30|
|Delfzijl en omgeving||less than 5|
|Het Gooi en Vechtstreek||35|
|Kop van Noord-Holland||45|