1,200 new jobs in East Netherlands

1,200 new jobs were created in East Netherlands in 2018 through the arrival of new companies as well as from existing company expansions.


The provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel are expected to see roughly 1,200 new jobs materialize over the coming three years. This number is derived from companies known to Oost NL that had decided in 2018 to either establish or expand in either province. The number of indirect jobs that will be generated due to this economic activity is many times that of the number of direct jobs. 

The 1,200 jobs represent some € 280 million worth of investments that the companies themselves estimate for the coming three years. These companies are active in the Food, Tech, Health, Energy and Logistics sectors. Some 40% of the new jobs are high-value R&D positions. Food Valley and the region of Twente are seen by investors as being superior performers.

“We are especially proud of this result,” says Fons de Zeeuw, International Manager at Oost NL, “Whenever we look at foreign investment in our region, it appears that the US, China and the UK are the largest investors. Owing to developments around Brexit [the UK’s 2019 expected departure from the EU], we expect in the coming year to see an increase in British investment.”

The regional development agency Oost NL has been involved with the aforementioned company developments through providing information, assembling bid books, organizing company visits, etc. Oost NL partners with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) when it comes to attracting companies from outside the Netherlands that might invest in the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel. The company establishments and expansions in Gelderland have resulted in a total of 723 new jobs and € 209 million in company investments. In Overijssel the results are 479 jobs and investments totaling € 70 million.

Marius Prins, general director of Oost NL, sees a good synergy between the acquisition activities that Oost NL conducts and its other business activities. He says, “In addition to these glowing results, in 2018 Oost NL also brought in some € 40 million in R&D investments to the region. As an investor ourselves, we have bolstered companies in our region with nearly € 32 million, which in turn attracted an additional € 210 million from other investors.”


In addition to direct acquisition, Oost NL’s trade promotion program GO4EXPORT has been booking positive results. This program provides a platform for regional partners to assist local business owners in supporting their plans for international export. The activities are prized by local businesses. For example, after participating in a trade mission to China, the company WTT, located in Twente, signed a major contract with a Chinese buyer.

Over the past year, GO4EXPORT organized a total of 26 events, such as matchmaking, international trips, visits to trade shows, etc. The goal of these events were to help regional small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to gain international exposure. From East Netherlands there were some 350 participating companies, plus additional SMEs from outside the region taking part in various events on nearly 180 occasions.

‘Invest in Holland’ - national results

‘Invest in Holland’ is the cooperative partnership in which the NFIA, together with Oost NL and other regional partners, offers a unified national face to the world in order to attract foreign investment. Under the flag ‘Invest in Holland’ the NFIA and regional partners in 2018 facilitated roughly 370 foreign investments in the Netherlands, resulting in some 9,800 jobs and € 2.85 billion in business investment.