European investments in the province of Zuid-Holland are highly effective. The province is able to demonstrate the difference that every single invested euro makes, as a result of the strong connections that exist in Zuid-Holland between all the important European domains. Therefore, investments have significant impact on all domains, and in addition the true effects of, for instance innovations, become clear. Zuid-Holland accounts for over one fifth of the total added value from business activity in the Netherlands. The economic growth of Zuid-Holland in 2018 is 3.2%.
Strategic location and superior logistics
Zuid-Holland is a prime location for businesses, thanks to its strategic geographical position on the North Sea coast, the main European seaport Rotterdam, the government city of The Hague and the university cities of Leiden and Delft. Its accessibility and infrastructure make it perfectly suited for serving markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Zuid-Holland ranks in the top 10 of mid-sized European regions of the future regarding connectivity (European Cities and Regions of the Future 2016/17, fDiIntelligence).
The province of Zuid-Holland itself is home to the regional Rotterdam The Hague airport that also offers international flights. In addition, the Netherlands has an extensive road and rail network, providing connections to wider Europe and beyond. Furthermore, the Netherlands has the highest broadband penetration in the world, as well as offering one of the fastest average broadband speeds. The port of Rotterdam, situated in Zuid-Holland, is Europe’s largest and most important seaport. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, ranked as Europe’s best airport for both cargo and passenger transport, is nearby, in the neighbouring province of Noord-Holland.
Zuid-Holland comprises a knowledge-intensive cluster of businesses, universities and knowledge institutes, known as the knowledge axis. Innovative business activity in Zuid-Holland is supported by a strong knowledge infrastructure and a well-educated population: three universities (Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam) that rank very high internationally and complement each other's specialisations, six universities of applied sciences, and leading applied research institutes such as TNO and Deltares.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017 ranks 13 Dutch universities in the top 200 of its annual listings, with Delft University of Technology, based in Zuid-Holland, ranking in the top 20 for engineering and technology and in the top 50 for life sciences. Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University, both based in Zuid-Holland as well, rank at 69 and 77 respectively. In addition, Dutch professionals are among the most multilingual in the world.
Favourable innovation environment
The province of Zuid-Holland has a strong concentration of knowledge, human capital and economic capital that makes this economically smart region an incubator of innovation. The Netherlands’ top scientific sector, open innovation approach, well-organised public-private partnerships and creative mind-set offer a favourable environment for companies looking for business acceleration. The economy of Zuid-Holland derives much of its vigour and vibrancy from the many cross-sector connections, as growth is increasingly generated by cross-fertilisation between different sectors. An additional bonus is that the sectors themselves have strong international connections.
International business environment and lifestyle
Zuid-Holland, with a favourable investment climate and international outlook, welcomes foreign investments. The province of Zuid-Holland is home to a wide array of multinationals as well as numerous small and mid-sized international businesses. The Netherlands maintains an affordable life for its residents and has a high standard of living. The costs of living, housing, education and cultural activities are lower than in most Western-European countries. The Netherlands has one of the most highly educated, flexible and motivated workforces in Europe.
InnovationQuarter (IQ) is the regional development agency for Zuid-Holland. IQ’s mission is to strengthen the regional economy by supporting and stimulating the innovation potential of Zuid-Holland. IQ finances innovative and fast-growing companies, assists foreign companies seeking to establish themselves in Zuid-Holland and organises partnerships between innovative entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions and governmental organisations. In doing so, IQ supports technological developments, encourages entrepreneurship and invests in start-ups.