Home » Eindhoven tech industry poised to get billion euro boost – DutchNews.nl

Eindhoven tech industry poised to get billion euro boost – DutchNews.nl

Ministers are working on a package of measures to strengthen investment in the Eindhoven region, after fears that some big tech companies, including chip machinery maker ASML, may be planning a move, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.

News about the existence of “Project Beethoven” leaked out earlier this month, but ministers have now agreed to pump €1 billion into the plan, the paper said. The money will come from the economic affairs ministry’s €3.4 billion growth fund, which has been frozen by minister Micky Adriaansens after MPs failed to back it, the FD reported.

In addition, some €500 million will be used to build motorways and rail links to counteract traffic congestion and up to €1 billion will be put into Eindhoven University of Technology to boost tech skills, the paper said.

“If this is true, it is fantastic news,” Robert-Jan Smits, chairman of Eindhoven University of Technology, told broadcaster NOS. “Some 80% of the university engineering graduates come from TU Eindhoven, so it would be logical to invest in the university.”

However, no agreement has yet been reached on tax reforms which are also prompting companies to quit, sources told the FD. Just before the November election, for example, MPs voted to introduce a tax on share buy-backs, to reduce the scope of the 30% tax break for some foreign workers, and to increase bank and asset taxes.

Tax minister Marnix van Rij has pledged to come up with an alternative plan for all these higher taxes later this spring.

Concerns about the business climate in the Netherlands are not new and last month employers organisation VNO-NCW published research showing some 44% of Dutch company bosses don’t think the Netherlands is an attractive place to do business.

Company bosses are most worried about the lack of stability in government – 82% said this was a problem, compared with 66% a year ago. And 60% said they do not think the November elections will lead to a stable cabinet either.

CEOs are also concerned about increasing red tape, the shortage of staff and taxes. Around one in four said they would not make any investments in the coming year.