The number of international companies locating in Rotterdam continues to grow. A total of 29 international companies opted for Rotterdam following the intermediation of the Rotterdam Investment Agency. The companies expect to create more than 2,700 jobs in Rotterdam and to invest 161 million euros.
This is revealed in the ‘Responsibilities of 2013 and Ambitions for 2014’ report of the Rotterdam Investment Agency (RIA). A total of 101 new companies were attracted to Rotterdam during this term of local government, which is slightly above the target of 100. International companies invested more than 500 million euros in the city during this term of local government. A total of more than 6,000 jobs were created through projects in which the RIA was involved.
Most companies that located in Rotterdam in 2013 have a relationship with the port and operate in the field of logistics, energy and trade. The city has also welcomed new companies in the creative and medical sector. As in preceding years, most of these new companies come from Asia. China, which is one of the City of Rotterdam’s focus countries, continues to be the largest supplier from this region.
Vice-Mayor Jeannette Baljeu (Port, Transport and Regional Economy) says international companies locating in Rotterdam helps to strengthen both the economy in the Rotterdam region and its international position. ‘Foreign investors create both jobs in Rotterdam and a great deal of indirect employment by purchasing services and products from companies in the region. International employees – expats who have a high standard of living – also spend a lot of money in the city.’
Several of the companies that located in Rotterdam in 2013 are Turkish Airlines, BGI Tech Solutions (Life Sciences & Health) and Global Offshore Services BV (transport and logistics).
The Rotterdam Investment Agency has been focusing on both acquisition and retention and growth of existing international and Rotterdam companies since 2009. A number of companies invested in expanding their operations in Rotterdam in 2013. Mendix (ICT), Coolblue (online electronics store) and Unilever expanded their locations in Rotterdam. The growth of companies such as Unilever in Rotterdam is also important because it has an attraction effect on other companies. For example, the Hamburg-based company Hajok Design BV, which carries out the packaging design for Unilever, opened an office in the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam last year.
Vice-Mayor Hamit Karakus (Housing, Spatial Planning, Real Estate and Urban Economy) says the arrival of Hajok is proof that a red-carpet treatment for existing large international companies in Rotterdam is equally important. ‘Satisfied companies serve as the ambassadors for attracting new companies.’
International companies once again stated the following reasons for locating in Rotterdam: the excellent accessibility of the city, the wide selection of offices, the favourable per square metre price, the international network and the no-nonsense business attitude. The RIA’s Expat Desk provides expats wishing to locate in Rotterdam with assistance relating to applying for permits, finding living accommodation, schools and other matters. The Expat Desk provided 673 expats with assistance with respect to residence permits and other matters in 2013.
Rotterdam Investment Agency, the Economic Development Board Rotterdam and Rotterdam Marketing have together formed the Rotterdam Partners foundation since 1 January 2014. Rotterdam Partners contributes to strengthening the Rotterdam economy and serves all the target groups that are crucial for the urban economy and city marketing, namely residents, (business) visitors, businesses and students.
Rotterdam Partners serves in this capacity as the connecting link between the business community, institutions and the Board of the Municipality of Rotterdam. The Expat Desk has been located in the city promotion centre Rotterdam.info on the Coolsingel since January of this year (Rotterdam Investment Agency).