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Spotlight on the Netherlands: a preferred route to Europe for Indian investors

30 Jun 2023

By Anand Bhugra, Client Relationship Director, India & Middle East

The Netherlands is strategically located in the centre of Europe, with the well-placed Port of Rotterdam putting it in strong contention for the title of ‘gateway to Europe.’ For Indian investors, the Netherlands is an increasingly preferred gateway; as much as 20% of all Indian exports to Europe go by way of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is the fourth-largest recipient of Overseas Direct Investment (ODI) from India and is likewise the fourth-largest investor in Indian markets.

With EU market access via the UK a somewhat more complex proposition post-Brexit, the quantum of business between India and the Netherlands is at a historic high and likely to continue its current growth. The Dutch market provides a compelling combination of robust infrastructure, strategic location, strong regulatory framework and thriving business culture, making it a destination of choice for Indian investors.

This article will shine a spotlight on the Netherlands, exploring how Indian investors and businesses can best capture its strategic advantages.

Benefits of accessing Europe through the Netherlands

As Indian companies and start-ups look at new markets, innovation, technology advances, and collaboration with Europe, the Netherlands is surfacing as a preferred partner. This is due to the convergence of several factors:

  • Strategic location: The Netherlands is seated in the heart of Europe, with the world-class Port of Rotterdam (the largest in Europe) facilitating important distribution access for manufacturers
  • Business-friendly environment: Competitive corporate tax rates and extensive double tax treaty networks, including one with India, help make the Netherlands one of Europe’s most business-friendly jurisdictions. The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) also takes a proactive approach, actively assisting foreign businesses looking to invest
  • Skilled workforce: The Dutch workforce is among the most skilled and multilingual in Europe, presenting an invaluable asset for any foreign company seeking European inroads
  • Digital infrastructure: The Netherlands consistently ranks among the top in the EU’s Digital Economy and Society Index. Tech-driven Indian businesses looking for expansion into European digital markets will find in the Netherlands an ecosystem of innovation that enables companies to build sustainable and smart solutions designed for the future
  • R&D and start-ups: There is already a strong foundation of collaborative effort between India and the Netherlands in research and development, for example in the space sector. Indeed, the European Space Agency, which is based in the Netherlands, recently sent a delegation to visit the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to discuss collaborative opportunities in Earth observation, science programmes, human space flight and more. Start-ups are also very healthy in the Netherlands, with particular emphasis on the health technology and robotics sectors

Facilitating business operations

Businesses may undertake a wide variety of operations in the Netherlands, including the establishment of a global or European headquarters, advanced manufacturing set-up, office operations, distribution and logistics, and research and development. They may also seek a launchpad for start-ups in various Dutch incubators, which have already contributed to the development of a thriving ecosystem of multinational businesses of all sizes.

The Netherlands presents numerous opportunities for collaboration, partnership and knowledge exchange, which is why Indian companies like large automotive manufacturers have located their European headquarters here. IQ-EQ has supported their European growth by providing the necessary resources and support to make administration simple, including payroll, office space, accounting services and more.

Whether your team is already on Dutch soil or based in India, IQ-EQ is your trusted gatekeeper to the Netherlands. We provide extensive experience in managing entities at every stage, from set-up to daily administration and even liquidation. Our full suite of administrative services will provide everything you need for successful European access via the Netherlands. Contact me to find out more:

Anand Bhugra
Client Relationship Director, India & Middle East
E: +31 20 522 24 71

Working with IQ-EQ has been seamless – you and your team understand our business, advise us appropriately, and handle your side of our collective partnership so that we can focus on making good investment decisions. Evan Gibson SVP, Merchants Capital

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