Holland, no need to hide behind the dikes!

Pieter Veldhuizen • 8 October 2018

Holland, there is no need to hide behind the dikes!


One of the things some of our loyal Twitter followers keep on telling us, is that we should use Dutch language in our posts or on our website. We are the DUTCH Startup Association, right? Well, yes we are. But what we try to do is keep an open mind. We want to be easily accessible for foreign entrepreneurs and international contacts. If a new startup is founded by a guy from the Phillipines and a woman from Argentina who recently met at a Dutch university whilst starting their masters, we should be there for them as well!

‘Yes, we are the DUTCH Startup Association, but we want to be easily accessible for foreign entrepreneurs and international contacts.’

And we’re definitely not the integration police, but when foreigners want to start a company or want to invest in the Netherlands, isn’t that an immediate positive impact on the Dutch economy and society? In working in an international context, the language barrier isn’t a problem since everyone uses the English language. The lingua franca is disruption and ambition. Moreover, technology knows no boundaries.

Our international reputation under pressure

It is exactly this international context that is fragile in the current ecosystem. For example, the Dutch government wants to lower the current ‘30% ruling’ for expats. Without implementing a transition regime for current expats. We have been proactively joining this debate. For we believe that the current measures have a negative impact on the competitive climate in the Netherlands, and the reputation of our government. We keep on emphasizing the necessity to at least impose a transition regime. Last week, we expressed our worries with Bloomberg Tax, to raise international attention for this issue.

Follow us on Twitter or check our news page for regular updates on this matter. Become a member of our community and add your thoughts about the subjects we are talking about.

Making a positive impact

There are some things the Dutch government can do to have a positive impact on internationalism. One of the things could be to extend the current Dutch startup permit from one to three years. Now foreign startup entrepreneurs have to re-apply every year. Why not immediately granting them three years? It would be a huge boost for investments and talent. Just one of the things the DSA is working hard for to realise.

‘Extending the startup permit would be a huge boost for investments and talent.’


To conclude: our minister for Foreign Trade and Development Corporation Sigrid Kaag held an interesting lecture last week on populism, international topics and identity. Well worth a read. One of her claims is that identity is layered and complex and never monolithic. Identity is more than language. It is what we show day by day to the outside world. The DSA wants the Netherlands to look beyond the dikes and to welcome entrepreneurs who want to have a positive impact on our economy and society. Do you agree?

Join us today to help us raise our voice! Become a member of our community, and let us know in the comments below how YOU think the Dutch government could have a positive impact.