Foreign companies a major driving force for jobs in Brabant

Over 1,100 jobs created in the first half of 2013, with some 2,000 new posts expected for the year

The rise in foreign companies settling in Brabant has proved to be a major driving force for employment in the province. Thanks to companies from abroad, 1,137 jobs were created in the first six months of 2013, marking a more than twofold increase (127 percent) over the same period in the preceding year. This emerged from figures released on Thursday by the Brabant Development Agency (BOM).

It is expected that for the whole of 2013 all the new foreign companies that have established themselves in Brabant will contribute some 2,000 new jobs. The rise in employment comes together with the 75 million euros in direct investments, distributed among a little more than 20 different projects.

European distribution center for Fab.com
The latest company to settle in Brabant is Fab.com, the rapidly growing online chain store that deals in designer products. Eindhoven municipality announced last week that the US company had selected the city as the base for all its European distribution activities. The distribution center will see 450 jobs added to the pile. Working together with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency and the municipality of Eindhoven, BOM helped to guide Fab.com in making its choice.

”We are on track, which is an achievement in itself, given the current economic climate, and by growing we are actually going against the stream,” says Richard l’Ami, head of Foreign Investments at BOM. ”And we’re not getting small fry here in Brabant either, with a great deal of knowledge-intensive activity and fast-growing players in the niche markets seeking out access to the European market from the province as well as the technology we have here.”

Unemployment in Brabant rises to 27 percent
These BOM figures come as a breath of fresh air at a time when unemployment is rising rapidly in Brabant, as it is in the rest of the country. Just last Thursday the national welfare agency UWV announced that the number of people receiving unemployment benefits in North Brabant had increased by 27 percent between May 2012 and 2013, from 46,300 to 58,800. The addition of 1,137 jobs from abroad has helped to stabilize welfare figures at around 58,500 in Brabant since February this year.

Investing in knowledge-intensive jobs
Getting foreign companies to Brabant has been a key area of focus for the province, especially with regard to the ambition of placing the region among the elite European knowledge and innovation locations. “To guarantee future economic growth we will have to concentrate in particular on increased labor productivity,” is how L’Ami puts it. ”And to achieve this we need investment in research and development, which is why we are encouraging knowledge-intensive companies from abroad to make the move to Brabant.”

Indian and US companies are trending
The interest shown by Indian service providers in Brabant marks a significant trend. “A big draw-card for us is Brainport Eindhoven, where companies such as Philips and ASML seek out professional partners to take on processes that are not a part of their core activities,” says L’Ami. “This includes things such as IT, accounting and legal matters.”

Brabant has also proved to be attractive to American companies, with US science and technology- based leader in pet food palatability AFB employing 50 people at its Oss plant and the industrial cleaning solution manufacturer Tennant expanding it operations in Uden. Then there is Tesla, which has decided to locate the distribution and maintenance activities for its top electric car model, the Tesla S, in Tilburg, demonstrating that leading international companies are increasingly happy to set up shop outside of the Randstad conurbation.

“Modesty does not get you very far,” L’Ami laughs. “And the province of Brabant is competing with Amsterdam and the rest of the Randstad region to win favor with these types of high-quality corporations. This means you must exhibit yourself, you must be aware of your plus points and, where necessary, be able to link up with the province and municipalities in order to land your fish,” he believes.

At BOM Foreign Investments we believe that investing in Brabant, the Netherlands is the solution for foreign companies looking to optimally invest in Europe; and we strive to make it happen. We facilitate all aspects of foreign direct investment in Brabant by offering personalized guidance through the site selection process and providing relevant and up-to-date information and links to our extensive network; services we continue to provide to companies with an established presence in Brabant. BOM Foreign Investments is part of the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), established in 1983 and funded by the Dutch government and the province of Brabant. For more information please visit http://www.foreigninvestments.eu.

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