Chinese Investments and Businesses

Photograph: Minister-president Rutte. Creative Commons.

There is wide interest in the Netherlands in the nature and impact of Chinese investments and businesses that establish themselves in the Netherlands. This interest is evident not only among government bodies but also in the Dutch business sector and the media.


The research questions in this project focused attention on two key objectives:

  • ‍An inventory of the size and nature of Chinese investments and businesses established in the Netherlands, and the policies of Dutch national and local government towards them.
  • ‍Insight into the reasons behind Chinese investments, and the establishment or acquisition of companies in the Netherlands (including in comparison with other competing countries), and into the question of whether expectations are met in practice. One aspect that will be the focus of particular attention is the Dutch employment market.
  • Working and living conditions of Chinese workers and entrepreneurs, both expatriates directly from China and staff recruited locally in the Netherlands.

Relevant research questions included:

  • ‍What is the competitive position of the Netherlands within Europe in attracting Chinese investments, and what are the main obstacles that Chinese companies experience here?
  • ‍What are the experiences of Chinese expatriates with living and working in the Netherlands, and to what extent are these experiences a hindrance or rather an advantage of being established here, also in comparison with competing urban regions in the  vicinity, such as Paris, Berlin, Dusseldorf, London?
  • What are the lessons and policy advice for the Dutch government and for the Dutch business sector?


This project was meant to provide insight in the size and nature of Chinese investments and businesses established in the Netherlands. Research questions were: What do Chinese companies expect from the Dutch/European market? What impact do their activities have on the Dutch labour market? And what lessons can be learned by the Dutch government and the Dutch business sector with this experience?


These and other questions were answered using a combination of interviews at companies and information gathering among national and local government bodies, a literature study on the situation in other neighbouring countries and a survey among Chinese expats.

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Published On: July, 2017