AMSTERDAM, March 12 - In response to questions from Reuters, more than a dozen Dutch companies said they were concerned about the country's business climate, while others have spoken publicly.

Here is a selection of comments:


Meals company Just Eat Takeaway CEO Jitse Groen said that as a small country, the Netherlands does not have the luxury of rolling out less favourable business policies.

"There is no point for companies to choose the Netherlands without highly educated foreign personnel and without good flight connections, and with tax disadvantages and restrictive regulations," he said in a statement on X.


KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM, told Reuters that while it cannot realistically move operations, "of course" it is concerned.

"Tax and immigration policy have a direct impact on the business model of KLM and our partners. So do infrastructure issues, like the proposed reduction of flight movements at Schiphol. Under the bonnet, the Dutch business climate is deteriorating in many ways, while other countries have made sure they became more attractive for corporate investments."


ING, the country's largest bank, said that while the Netherlands will remain its home market, "making location choices is a constant", and it values consistent policy when making investment decisions.

"Some of the proposals put forward last year clearly do not improve the Dutch investment and business climate in that sense and would also affect Dutch banks' competitiveness towards foreign banks and our ability to support the economy."


Paint maker AkzoNobel told Reuters:

"It is important that the government creates stability and predictability for companies. In this case tax policy, share buy-back policies and the tax deductibility of interest are important."


Nutritional chemicals maker DSM became domiciled in Switzerland after a 2022 merger with Firmenich but maintains a second headquarters in Maastricht.

"You won’t see immediate effects (of a deteriorating investment climate) but the delayed impact, after three to five years, can be extremely damaging and irreversible for a specific industry," the company told Reuters.


Shell and Unilever moved their headquarters to London after the Dutch government in 2018 reneged on a promise to scrap a dividend withholding tax.

Shell, which maintains large operations in the Netherlands, told Reuters it remains concerned about the aftermath of a 2022 court ruling that ordered the company to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 - which it says circumvented the lawmaking process.

While Shell has appealed, environmental groups are now suing ING to force it to stop financing fossil fuel projects.

Environmental groups' approach is "not the right one", Shell said. "It would severely impact the Dutch investment climate, economy, and jobs".

Unilever, which retains R&D in Rotterdam said "it is vital to us that a country pays attention to and supports innovation".


Insurer Aegon moved its legal base to Bermuda in 2023 after selling its Dutch operations to ASR. Though the company does most of its business in the United States, it said it has no intention for now of closing its Dutch headquarters.


Insurer ASR told Reuters it was worried about unpredictable governance, citing an "increase in bank tax, the pivot on the dividend tax and the taxation of share buybacks". It said that since the new parliament took office, there has been "a lack of clear decisions or a course that companies can respond to in a timely manner".

NN Group

"There is a high regulatory burden for Dutch companies, both from the EU and their own country. Also, the government is not always consistent in its policy and places a lot of emphasis on taxing instead of investing," the financial services group told Reuters.

Like Aegon, NN ruled out a headquarter change.


Ahold runs the Netherlands' largest supermarket chain and its largest webshop

"Maintaining our current level of prosperity in the Netherlands ... (is) not guaranteed and requires predictable, clear, consistent and stimulating fiscal policies," it told Reuters.

"As an employer of more than 100,000 people in the Netherlands, retaining and attracting talent is of great importance. Particularly in today's labour market, it's crucial for the Netherlands to remain an appealing hub to attract international talent."


In an open letter in February, CEOs of nine Dutch tech firms said they were concerned about maintaining the country's competitive position and access to labour.

"We call on a new government to treasure this strong position, offer stability with clear, predictable lawmaking and to invest in an open, knowledge-intensive economy," they wrote. “It is crucial that our country remains attractive to knowledge workers who make a positive contribution to our innovative power. Moreover, diversity within teams helps to better understand and serve the world.” (Reporting by Charlotte van Campenhout and Toby Sterling; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)