In 1961, Anton Geesink, originally from Utrecht, was the first foreigner to win gold at the World Judo Championships. Miffy, the little bunny, was “born” in Utrecht, and Siegfried Aikman from Amersfoort in the Utrecht region helped Japan’s national men’s hockey team win gold at the 2018 Asian Games and go on to the Tokyo Olympics.
Today, the Utrecht region is strengthening its ties with Japan. As a “green city” in the Netherlands with canals, parks, beautiful castles and country mansions, Utrecht values the work-life balance. The European Commission’s Regional Innovation Scoreboard ranks Utrecht particularly high in infrastructure, human capital and health.
The Utrecht region offers access to over 145 million consumers within a 500-kilometer radius and 7.2 million employees within a one-hour commute. It is centrally located in both the Netherlands and Western Europe.
With one of the most highly educated workforces in the Netherlands, the Utrecht region has more than 70,000 students. Over half the labor force has an academic degree and more than 75% of the population speaks three languages.
“Over 1,000 foreign companies have established offices in the Utrecht region,” said Anna Elferink, Utrecht region business adviser for Asia and the Pacific.
“We are happy to welcome new Japanese investors to the region to discover the advantages of the Utrecht region.”
In the region approximately 60 Japanese companies employ over 3,000 people.
“Yokogawa’s European headquarters has been here for about 40 years,” said Shuji Mori, Yokogawa Electric Corp.’s senior vice president and chief executive for North and South Americas, Europe, Russia and CIS.
“Yokogawa regards the Utrecht province as an excellent region for foreign company investments due to government support, infrastructure, local commitment and connectivity with other regions in the Netherlands,” Mori said.
Located in the Gooi and Vechtstreek area, Hilversum is home to the Netherlands’ media and entertainment industry.
“All the major Dutch broadcasters are based here, as are many international production companies,” said Paul Kievit, president of NEC Enterprise Solutions EMEA & Americas.
“Hilversum Media Park is home to numerous young businesses that break down the boundaries between traditional and digital media. Other business centers in the surrounding area include Arenapark, which is home to NEC Enterprise EMEA headquarters. With the Amsterdam Internet Exchange on the doorstep, providing one of the largest data-transport hubs in the world, the area has exceptional digital connectivity for bandwidth-hungry businesses. Excellent transport and road connections ensure potential clients and creative partners in Amsterdam are never far away.”
Frank Rittinghaus, general manager of Nintendo Benelux concluded: “Close to Schiphol Airport and the Belgian and German borders, Utrecht is easily accessible by various means of transport and centrally located in the Netherlands. Utrecht is a fantastic location for Nintendo Benelux.”