Unilever is a storied name in Dutch business history, and it’s also a harbinger of what the future may hold for what was once continental Europe’s most open economy.

The consumer goods behemoth, which left its Dutch headquarters to consolidate in the U.K. four years ago, is considering listing its €17 billion (¥2.8 trillion) ice cream business in Amsterdam or London. The decision depends on the Dutch business climate being attractive, Chief Executive Officer Hein Schumacher told the Buitenhof TV program on Sunday. But that is far from certain.

"We have seen some surprises in recent years,” he said. "A predictable government and regulations are very important.”