Ties Elzinga: NFIA's new London Executive Director

The new NFIA Executive Director in London, Ties Elzinga, talks about how he’s looking forward to a new challenge and to meeting business leaders across the UK and Ireland.

“Although I’ve only been in the job a few weeks I’m very familiar with the NFIA,” says Ties. “I was a Business Relations Manager with the Rotterdam Investment Agency for three years and, before that, I spent seven years with Buck Consultants International in the Netherlands. There I worked with various investment promotion agencies to help major international companies with their site selection decisions.

“I’ve always been attracted to this type of work – right back to when I was studying for my Masters in Human Geography at the University of Groningen. That’s why I’ve been developing my skills alongside the NFIA for a number of years. So, when I got the opportunity to continue the work I’ve always done but also to work abroad –  I grabbed it.”

New focus
“Traditionally, our NFIA work is cross-sector. We will always support and assist all companies from all sectors but my focus now is to develop a detailed, sector specific approach in the London office of the NFIA. This reflects the Dutch Government’s ‘Agenda for Action’ strategy, which highlights nine strong business clusters where the Netherlands has unique knowledge and expertise. It’s a long term strategy but two areas where I can immediately see the potential are the energy sector, food & nutrition, and the life sciences.

“Both the UK and the Netherlands are very advanced in life sciences and we both have specific universities looking to co-operate and share knowledge. I’m very fortunate to have a pro-active and experienced team here in London to help me develop this strategy over the coming months.”  

Looking forward to meeting you
“One of the things I am particularly looking forward to is working with so many different cultures here in the UK. It’s going to be challenging but also very interesting. The UK is often the first step for American, Japanese, Chinese and Indian companies looking to expand into Europe. Maybe sometimes that’s because of a lack of knowledge of other countries in Europe but from the UK & Ireland the Netherlands is the logical next step.

“The Netherlands is stable, liberal, everyone speaks English, and it’s close to Germany – the biggest economy in Europe. You only have to look at some of the latest ratings, from Bloomberg and others, to see that the Netherlands has great potential. Despite fragility elsewhere in the eurozone, the Dutch economy is growing and our connectivity and logistics rankings are consistently high.

“My key task is to develop a smooth, single point of contact for investors looking at the Netherlands. The most important thing I want businesses to know is that the NFIA is here for them with free, confidential advice. We have very close links with all the government agencies in the Netherlands and many existing businesses and specialist advisors – so we can help develop the contacts you need to make establishing in the Netherlands as straightforward as possible.

“And, I’m always willing to visit companies to find out what they need and how we can help. I certainly don’t intend to do this job sitting at my desk in London. I am already planning visits to Edinburgh, Manchester and Ireland and I’m really looking forward to meeting as many decision makers as possible.”   

Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA)
Part of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, the NFIA facilitates foreign companies' direct investments in the Netherlands. Based within the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London the NFIA assists and supports companies in UK & Ireland taking a next step into Europe.

The NFIA supports companies interested in expanding or establishing operations in the Netherlands by providing information regarding the tax climate, labour issues, permit procedures and organising fact finding trips. NFIA’s services are free of charge, confidential and without obligations.

For more information about NFIA, please go to: http://www.nfia.co.uk
To contact Ties please email [email protected] or call + 44 (0) 207 225 1074.