New publication: Evaluation of the NFIA 2010-2018

  • May 2020

The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) supports foreign companies that want to set up activities in the Netherlands, with the aim of increasing the volume and quality of the initial and follow-up direct investments of foreign companies.

Under the leadership of MIR, SEOR conducted the first evaluation of the NFIA together with MIR, Erasmus School of Economics and KU Leuven. We examined whether the activities of the NFIA lead to additional (both initial and follow-up) investments and in the Netherlands and if so, whether these investments are relatively productive. The evaluation combined a number of different research methods, such as literature research, interviews with policymakers and stakeholders, various econometric analyses, a survey among companies and feedback sessions.

We conclude that it is plausible that the work of the NFIA is legitimate and largely effective. Efficiency is difficult to assess, mainly due to the lack of detailed financial information. Analysis shows that an NFIA budget of one million euros, on average, generates 333 direct jobs and 20 million euros in investments in the Netherlands. The NFIA also resolves the lack of information among (potentially) interested companies, and improves coordination of attracting foreign investments within the Netherlands.

The effectiveness of the NFIA could be improved by focusing more on the quality of the investments (the added value for the Netherlands) in addition to the quantity of the investments (number and size). The evaluation provides various policy recommendations aimed at improvement. The report (in Dutch) contains an English summary and was presented to the House of Representatives on 17 April 2020, together with a letter to parliament entitled 'Towards more focus on the acquisition of foreign companies'.