Trade and investment in the Netherlands for business people from Malaysia

Do you want to invest in the Netherlands? Dutch businesses can work with you in the fields of water, food, energy and more.

Trade and investment in the Netherlands

Investing in the Netherlands

There are plenty of reasons to invest in the Netherlands, for example:

  • Its geographical location, on the coast of Western Europe, means the Netherlands has 500 million potential customers close by.
  • Infrastructure is highly developed and includes Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, the Port of Rotterdam, roads, railway lines and broadband access.
  • Dutch people have a high level of education thanks to the excellent education system. Around 90% of Dutch people speak English and many also speak other foreign languages.

Trade and investment

Dutch companies can work with you on global challenges in the fields of water, food, energy, health and security.

At you can find examples of Dutch solutions in these fields.

Information for businesses from this country or region

Facts and Figures

Already for many years, the Netherlands is a major trading partner of Malaysia. According to Malaysia’s Trade Performance 2011 by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the Netherlands features as Malaysia’s second largest trading partner among the 27 EU Member States.

Although Malaysian exports to the Netherlands showed a slight decrease compared to 2010, with an amount of RM 19.2 billion the Netherlands tops the ranking in 2011 as the largest export destination of Malaysian goods and services within the EU.

Vice versa, Dutch exports to Malaysia increased by 6.4% in 2011 to a total amount of RM 3,6 billion. Also compared to 2010, during which Dutch exports decreased yearly by around 3,5%, the growth in 2011 marks another positive trend in Malaysian-Dutch economic relations.


The Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) 

In order to assist Malaysian companies in doing business in the Netherlands. the Embassy works closely with MATRADE, both in Kuala Lumpur as well as in The Hague, within the Malaysian Embassy located there.

MATRADE is the government agency that assists Malaysian companies to establish their presence overseas and raise their profiles in foreign markets through different promotional drives including participation in trade missions, specialized marketing missions and international trade fairs. MATRADE also organizes business matching programs for Malaysian companies and foreign importers. More information can be found on their website.

Agentschap NL (NL Agency) 

Another crucial partner is NL Agency. Focusing on sustainability, innovation, international business, and cooperation, NL Agency is the number one contact point for businesses, knowledge institutions and government bodies. NL Agency provides information, advice, financing, networking, and regulatory matters for entrepreneurs, (knowledge) institutions, as well as government bodies. You can access their website by using the following link.

Answers for Business

An important source for answering your questions is the institution Answers for Business. Like NL Agency, it is a part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and, as such, Answers for Business works closely with the entire Dutch public sector, including Ministries, municipal authorities, provincial authorities and water boards.

Answers for Business helps businesses to navigate the large amount of information provided by the Dutch government. At a glance, you can see which laws, rules and regulations, licences and taxes apply to you. In addition to government rules that apply to all businesses, the website of Answers for Business presents information about the rules and regulations that apply specifically to your sector.

Why invest in the Netherlands

Find out why such multinational companies as Heinz, Huawei Technologies, Petrobras, Tata Consultancy Services, and Yakult invested in the Netherlands in the following video.

It is because the Netherlands offers…

… a strategic location in Europe

The Netherlands provides a strategic location to serve markets within Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The central geographical position of the Netherlands, combined with accessibility and an excellent infrastructure, are only some of the reasons why numerous European, American and Asian companies have established their facilities in the Netherlands.

… a competitive fiscal climate

The Dutch tax system has a number of features that may be very beneficial in international tax planning. These include a corporate income tax rate of 20 percent on the first €200,000 and 25 percent for taxable profits exceeding €200,000. In addition, the Dutch ruling practice provides clarity and certainty in advance on future tax positions. Furthermore, in respect of R&D, companies can benefit from the innovation box resulting in an effective corporate tax rate of only 5 percent, as well as an R&D allowance (WBSO) taking the form of wage tax and social security contribution deductions.

Dutch tax law also provides the participation exemption, which states that all benefits related to a qualifying shareholding are exempt from Dutch corporate income tax, as well as the fiscal unity regime, designed to freely offset profits and losses among group members. There are also advantages in debt and loss structuring, and a wide tax treaty network, resulting in reduction of withholding taxes on dividends, interests and royalties.

Finally, there is the 30 percent ruling, which is a tax-free reimbursement of 30 percent of the employee's salary, provided that the employee has been recruited or assigned from abroad and has specific expertise scarce in the Dutch labor market.

… a superior logistics and technology infrastructure

The Port of Rotterdam is Europe's largest and most important seaport, while Schiphol Airport is ranked as Europe's best airport for both cargo and passenger transport. The Netherlands is also classified as one of the most ‘wired’ countries in the world; a dynamic force in electronic commerce, communications and outsourcing. More than a decade of investment in high-speed internet, cable and digital communication systems, as well as the rapid adoption of state-of-the-art computer and cell phone technology, have created an ideal base for companies seeking to take advantage of modern technology.

… a conducive innovation environment

Holland's open innovation approach and well organized public-private partnerships offer a favorable environment for companies looking for business acceleration. Together with a mind-set of creativity, collaboration and reliability - and a top scientific sector - Holland is able to guarantee the most important drivers in 'innovation location' choices for foreign investors.

… an international business environment

The Netherlands, long Europe's trading crossroads, is an obvious choice to locate a pan-European operation - whether it's a European headquarters, a shared services center, a customer care center, a distribution and logistics operation, or an R&D facility. The country’s pro-business environment creates a gateway to Europe that helps international companies succeed throughout the continent. An international outlook and openness to foreign investment is firmly ingrained in the Dutch culture, and this has yielded a wealth of world-class business partners who know how to deal with global business challenges in today's economy.

... a solid workforce

The Netherlands features one of the most highly educated, flexible and motivated workforces in Europe. Dutch professionals are also among the most multilingual in the world, enabling them to successfully operate in companies across any industry, serving customers throughout the continent. What's more, Dutch law offers employers a range of contract possibilities to flexibly procure employees.

… an attractive quality of life

The Netherlands is proud to have a high standard of living, whilst maintaining an affordable life for its residents. The costs of living, housing, education and cultural activities are lower than in most Western-European countries. Furthermore, all sorts of cultural and leisure activities are open to both Dutch citizens and visitors alike. Whether it's spending a leisurely afternoon on the beach, enjoying culinary delights or going to one of the cities' acclaimed theaters or opera houses, the new expatriate is soon made to feel that the Netherlands is a most welcoming and entertaining country.

Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA)

In order to assist Malaysian entrepreneurs in setting up their business in the Netherlands, a special government agency has been set-up: the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA). NFIA is responsible for the promotion, development and expansion of new and existing foreign business.

In order to assist Malaysian entrepreneurs in setting up their business in the Netherlands, the Embassy harbors a section of the NFIA. From information-gathering to project implementation, the NFIA section at the Embassy can assist Malaysian companies at every stage of the process. NFIA's services are completely confidential and free of charge.

For more information please contact Ms. Agnes Seah, Head of the NFIA section at the Embassy at or the NFIA website.