Jan 23, 2017

How the Netherlands ranks as a global creative powerhouse

Yes, Holland's creative industry ranks among the world's top 10 for trade, jobs and brands. But it doesn't end there...

Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam
Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam

...Dutch creativity bleeds into other areas such as health, security and energy. It even extends to environmental challenges, from the historical, but never-ending, fights against water to cutting pollution in oceans.

The Netherlands is one of the most powerful creative economies in the world, and its liberal and open society dates back to the Dutch Golden Age. Settling in the most urbanised corner of Europe and below sea level, its pioneering inhabitants have never sought safety but embraced the sort of creative risk-taking that has led to unpredictable outcomes. 

It is this sort of divergent thinking that has made it possible for the Dutch to imagine, design and construct workable solutions on a grand scale.

Holland’s open, tolerant and tech-savvy business environment has always been an intoxicating lure for international entrepreneurs. No surprise, then, that such disruptive and forward-thinking brands as Uber, Netflix and Tesla have made the Netherlands their home.

Marloes van der Laan, communications manager at Uber said: "Back in October 2012, Uber established its international headquarters in Amsterdam. As a European tech hub, Amsterdam has great local and international tech talent, not to mention high living standards, a great transportation infrastructure, and a relatively good housing market. For all these reasons and more, we’re proud to be further building our team in Amsterdam."

Eye, Amsterdam

Floating Pavillions, Rotterdam
Dutch-designed CCTV building, Beijing
Dutch-designed CCTV building, Beijing


Why go Dutch

1. You can’t beat its location. The Netherlands is on the Continent, close to Europe’s 500 million consumers, not to mention your business customers.

2. The infrastructure is first class. Its world-class airport, top-ranked seaports and high-speed road, rail and broadband networks are second to none.

3. The Dutch are ranked number one globally with regards to English-language skills for countries with a different mother tongue.

4. The Netherlands has an awesome business climate. Just ask Google, TOMS shoes, MTV, Tommy Hilfiger, Netflix, Calvin Klein and hundreds of other foreign multinationals thriving in the Netherlands.

5. The Netherlands rolls out the orange carpet. The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency offers free, confidential services that make it easy to start up, roll out and expand your company here.


Starry Night cycling path


Quickfire facts

  • Dutch creative industries are worth €12.1bn annually. Dutch design = €5bn+
  • 41 Cannes Lions awards for Dutch agencies and brands in 2016
  • One of top 5 most attractive countries for digital media and entertainment investment
  • Schiphol airport: Europe’s best connected hub-airport
  • 3rd in the world for creative outputs with ambition to be Europe’s most creative economy by 2020
  • 47,808 graphic & interaction designers; 6,048 product designers; 1,300 fashion companies; 3,744 interior designers;10,500 architects
  • 170 million consumers within 300 miles
  • 3rd-largest exporter of  TV formats globally
  • Host to the world’s biggest electronic music festival: Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE)

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