Updated on 22 May 2012
Ms Karin Rancuret, area director, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, Singapore
The Netherlands, despite its relatively small size, serves as the base for many multinational life sciences companies in Europe. These include not just multinational companies such as Abbott, Merck and Roche, but also smaller niche players such as the CordLife from Singapore.
The factors that make the Netherlands an attractive location for international companies include, conducive research environment, competitive fiscal climate and an international business environment. The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), an operational unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, helps and advises foreign companies in establishing, rolling out and expanding their business activities in the Netherlands. The Life Sciences & Gezondheid (health) program, an initiative of the government and the industry, helps small and medium-sized companies find funding and opportunities to develop their products. Currently, there are 935 such companies in the country, and many of these have collaborated with Asian companies for research and development.
In an interaction with BioSpectrum, Ms Karin Rancuret, area director of NFIA in Singapore, discussed opportunities in the life sciences industry in The Netherlands and its collaborations with Asian countries to bring new technologies and products to the market.
In what areas of life sciences is the Netherlands building its potential?
Ms Rancuret: Maintaining and improving an aging population's quality of life while keeping healthcare affordable and sufficiently staffed is one of the major challenges of our time. It is also a major opportunity for the knowledge economy and for the life sciences and health industry in particular. Innovations in this industry can contribute to solutions for this challenge and these innovations will find ready demand in the healthcare market, which is one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world.