A strong digital infrastructure is the basis for our future economy. The Netherlands is a magnet for tech companies, partly because of the large concentration of data centers, and is known as the “Digital Gateway to Europe”. This digital hub now has higher growth rates and a greater economic impact than Schiphol Airport or the port of Rotterdam. But international competition is lurking. To remain at the forefront, we have to invest and innovate. In that way, we ensure that the Netherlands will continue to be one of the largest and most important data hubs in the world for the coming decades.
The digital gateway of the Netherlands is one of the most important international data hubs and one of the main reasons that large tech companies and platforms come to the Netherlands and invest. A joint action agenda, attention and resources are needed to maintain this position of the Netherlands as Digital Gateway to Europe.
The reputation of the Netherlands is no longer just about cows, tulips and cheese. The Netherlands is also a leader in the field of digital infrastructure. The digital hub has major positive direct and indirect effects on the Dutch economy. Tens of thousands of service providers earn their money with online services. The data center and cloud industry is the fastest growing sector in the Netherlands; with a growth rate of 18% in the last 7 years of the Amsterdam data hub.
Although the Netherlands has a strong position, the is a constant, fierce competition with other European data hubs. Maintaining our good position requires structural attention, investments and innovation. Better representation is crucial for attracting foreign investment. Our digital hub should be stronger promoted as the ‘Digital Gateway to Europe’: the best global digital infrastructure and leading ecosystem. That way we can continue to compete with other countries.
The Netherlands attracts many international investors as “Digital Gateway to Europe”. With no less than 20% of all branch-related foreign direct investments in the Netherlands, the data center and cloud sector has become the largest source of FDI.
These investors focus on countries with the right investment climate. They are therefore critically examining the digital sector legislation. A good investment climate requires a well-considered, balanced and government-wide policy. In this way, we make optimal use of the excellent position of the Netherlands, resulting in investments in capital goods, growth in GDP and new jobs. In terms of laws and regulations, it is therefore important to keep up the pace, without risking to erase already strong rules and regulations.
The Dutch digital mainport and the digital infrastructure play a crucial role in the economy, but are largely out of sight of the government and the public. The Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) does not map the data center sector separately due to the lack of the correct SBI sector codes.
Digital infrastructure is also an increasingly important part of spatial planning in the field of underlying (power) infrastructure, connectivity and heat emission. This requires both regional and national coordination, in which digital infrastructure such as data centers and fiber optics are integrated into planning issues. It is therefore very important to have a timely discussion with all parties involved. In this way, the Netherlands digitally remains open for business and we offer innovative projects the best chance of success.
The excellent Dutch digital infrastructure has led to the emergence of a digital ecosystem. This is one of the main reasons why companies choose to establish their data distribution centers, data centers, cloud applications and head offices in the Netherlands. The DDA strives for a good climate for data centers in which other partners also flourish.
If the Netherlands were to lose its excellent mainport position, it would have major direct and indirect effects on other parties in the digital ecosystem. Cooperation is therefore important. Large Internet exchanges, good fiber-optic connections and modern, professional data centers ensure that organizations such as Netflix decide to establish their European headquarters in Amsterdam. This synergy has a strong effect on the rest of our economy.
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