Catalan Minister of Business and Knowledge, Àngels Chacón, visited Amsterdam on a mission to promote links with the region, seek business opportunities, exchange views, and learn more about the business reality of one of Europe’s most dynamic start-up ecosystems. With 3500 start-ups, Amsterdam has cemented its status as a highly innovative region (ranked second on the Global Innovation Index) with a strong presence of investment funds, business angels and multinational headquarters.
Minister Chacón, accompanied by ACCIÓ chief executive Joan Romero and ACCIÓ’s Amsterdam director, Paul Barreveld, held working meetings with several companies and visited B. Amsterdam and TQ, the two largest tech hubs, where the local and international entrepreneurial ecosystem is concentrated.
Law on Start-ups, Technology and Disruption
One of the objectives for the mission was to talk to the various actors in Amsterdam’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and share the content on the forthcoming Law on Start-ups, Technology and Disruption. “We understand that in this ecosystem of constant transformation, and given the need to retain the talent that drives business competitiveness, we need to approve a new legal framework so that knowledge-based entrepreneurs and companies – start-ups and technology-based enterprises – are subject to a different set of requirements when it comes to setting up a company,” said the minister.
One of the main investors in Catalonia
The Netherlands is one of the countries that top the ranking of foreign companies established in Catalonia. According to data provided by the Agency for Business Competitiveness (ACCIÓ), there are currently 8,642 foreign companies established in Catalonia, including enterprises from Germany (13%), France (12%), the United States (12%), Italy (9%), the Netherlands (8%) and the United Kingdom (8%). The Netherlands is one of the main investors in Catalonia, and over 680 Dutch companies have operations in the region.
In recent years, there has been a steady increase in trade relations between Catalonia and the Netherlands, a country with a population of 17 million that saw economic growth of 3.1% in 2017. In that year, Catalan exports to the Netherlands increased by 16.9% over 2016, reaching a historic high of €2.25 billion. A total of 2791 Catalan companies export to the country.