In 2018, twenty international businesses opened or expanded a branch office in the Utrecht region, the region that Amersfoort is part of. This represents a 25% increase compared to 2017. Last year, foreign investments worth a total of 12 million euros were secured, resulting in the creation of 1,050 jobs.
Newcomers who opened their doors in the Utrecht region for the first time in 2018 include Trig Avionics and VodafoneZiggo. Scottish company Trig Avionics, which specialises in communication and navigation for small-scale aviation, opted to settle in Amersfoort. The excellent connections by rail and air played a decisive role in their choice for the Utrecht region. Following the merger between Vodafone and Ziggo, management at the telecom company went in search of a location for their new headquarters. They ultimately decided on Utrecht’s Hoog Catharijne thanks to factors such as the setting’s dynamic nature and excellent accessibility. The company opened its main offices, a shop and an Experience Centre there in October.
Foreign investors are vital to the region. Attracting and retaining corporations has resulted in many new jobs over the years; it has also contributed to the economy, strengthened ties to international networks and, simply put, earned money for the region’s coffers. In order to increase their international business clout, the Province of Utrecht and the Municipalities of Amersfoort and Utrecht have been cooperating with increasing frequency in recent years. In 2018, this resulted in the establishment of the Trade & Invest Team, which is aimed at the acquisition of foreign businesses with a focus on healthy urban living. Utrecht Region wants to be among the top regions in Europe, now and in the future, and to continue to create sufficient employment opportunities. The shared goal of the regional partners is to increase the number of international jobs added each year from 500 to 1,000 within five years’ time. The efforts of the Trade & Invest Team are specifically focused on the Life Sciences & Health, ICT, Gaming, Innovation and Sustainability sectors.
The Trade & Invest Team also works to facilitate Utrecht-based companies who are looking to expand their operations internationally. In 2018, the Team supported ninety businesses on the road to doing business abroad. The Utrecht-based company Active cues first began selling its innovative elder-care products in Southern Germany after participating in a trade event in Munich that was organised by the Trade & Invest Team.