Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Its population of 800,000 has long been ethnically and culturally diverse, with 177 different nationalities making for a great melting pot of different influences and ideas.
For centuries, the city has been known for its resolutely freedom-loving character. Amsterdam has always prided itself on accommodating different modes of living and artistic styles. Historically, it was always the first to accept alternative concepts and ideas, which flourished here more readily than anywhere else. This special talent has always been a source of boundless vitality for the city.
Amsterdam became one of the most important cities in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, as a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city pioneered modern global finance, inventing share trading and opening the first stock exchange, and leading the world diamond industry. But great artists and thinkers like Rembrandt and Spinoza were drawn to the city not only on account of its wealth, but also for its tradition of tolerance.
Nowadays, Amsterdam is the base for many corporate head offices and a rich diversity of economic activities, including international financial services, industry, transport, logistics and related knowledge-intensive services, the creative industries, ICT and media, the life sciences and medical activities, and international tourism and congresses.
The creative industries comprise three sectors:
- The arts: the performing arts, the visual arts, theatre, galleries, and museums
- Media and entertainment: publishing, radio, TV, film, video, and gaming
- Creative business services: advertising, photography, design, and fashion.
Creative talent has plenty of room for manoeuvre in a service economy like the Netherlands. Of the region’s total employment, 85% is in the service sector. Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is especially strong in business and financial services. More and more banks and head offices of international companies are opening their doors here. This is not only because of the easy accessibility guaranteed by nearby Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, but also because of the region’s innovative character and pleasant living climate. For creative business service providers, including designers and advertising agencies, the presence of so many large companies means an enormous potential market.
A thriving creative sector itself brings new entrepreneurship, innovation and employment. Amsterdam is the place where your ideas can flourish into successful businesses.
Amsterdam Economic Board