Dutch digital hub provides economic opportunities which must be acted upon

New report stresses that urgency is required

18 NOVEMBER 2016, AMSTERDAM
Samenvatting
The Dutch digital hub, consisting of data centres, internet exchanges and cloud- and hosting providers, currently provides more jobs than the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. It has grown rapidly since its inception 20 years ago, currently averaging 7 - 9 percent annualy with an annual turnover of €110 billion. Stijn Grove, Director of the Dutch Datacenter Association (DDA) tells: “The economic importance of this cannot be overestimated: both other hubs had respectively one century (Schiphol Airport) to many centuries (Port of Rotterdam) to reach their current size. Given the economic value of these hubs for the Netherlands, we can now safely say that the digital hub, the Digital Gateway to Europe, is the largest economic opportunity of the Netherlands of the 21st century."

If the Netherlands fails to further embrace the digital sector as an economic opportunity, other countries will be able to take a quick lead as enablers of the global digital economy. This is the conclusion of new research by Deloitte, conducted at the initiative of the Dutch Datacenter Association and other parties.

Data centres and the digital infrastructure are the foundation of our society and economy. The most striking aspects of the report, which was presented yesterday, is that the Dutch digital hub since its inception 20 years ago now provides more jobs than the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. Stijn Grove, Director of the Dutch Datacenter Association (DDA) tells: “The economic importance of this cannot be overestimated: both other hubs had respectively one century (Schiphol Airport) to many centuries (Port of Rotterdam) to reach their current size. Given the economic value of these hubs for the Netherlands, we can now safely say that the digital hub, the Digital Gateway to Europe, is the largest economic opportunity of the Netherlands of the 21st century."

Largest hub
The report shows that the Netherlands has a unique global position as an international hub for data and delivery of digital services. This digital hub consists of international data centres, internet exchanges and cloud and connectivity providers and is embedded in the overall digital infrastructure. It is now the largest hub of the Netherlands and the foundation of both the Dutch and increasingly the international digital economy.

Grove: “These figures once more confirm the value of this asset for the Netherlands. However, this is still not sufficiently acknowledged. Despite the fact that the House of Representatives has called on the Dutch Government in October 2015 to focus on the digital hub, not much is happening. For example, if we look at what political parties say about this subject in the run-up to the General Election in March 2017, we must conclude that the importance of the digital hub is not acknowledged by Dutch politicians and administrators. Even though this sector is now the largest attractor of all foreign investments in Netherlands."

Urgency
Worldwide, there is a great need for services that enable the transition to a digital economy. This partly explains the success of the Netherlands as a gateway to Europe, but this does not mean that other countries are idle.

“We are on the eve of a new worldwide productivity revolution supported by data and digital services," said Grove. “Historically, The Netherlands has been very able to position itself favourably in respect of changes in the global economy through common efforts. This is also the case this time.

In addition to awareness and consistency, investments based on a long term vision are paramount. In fields such as research in photonics, cyber security and core internet technology, in the field of innovation and establishing new tech companies, and strengthening the promotion of the Netherlands as a digital gateway to Europe. Grove: “The government has a role to play, because there is a common good at stake. The digital sector must be embraced soon, otherwise we will lose to our neighbouring countries, which are very well aware of what is happening in this field in the Netherlands."

The report can be downloaded here:

http://www.dutchdatacenters.nl/deloitte


About the Dutch Datacenter Association

Dutch Datacenter Association (DDA) is the trade association of data centres in the Netherlands. DDA connects the market-leading data centres in the Netherlands with a mission: strengthening economic growth and profiling the data centre sector towards the government, media and society.

DDA expresses views of the industry with respect to regulation and policy issues. It shows leadership by facilitating and encouraging members to make operational improvements in the form of ‘best practices’. DDA promotes education and contributes to technical standards with which the data centre sector can distinguish itself in the Netherlands and abroad.

The Dutch Datacenter Association is one of the founders of the Digital Infrastructure Association, DINL. Together with AMS-IX, DHPA, ISPConnect, SIDN, NLnet, SURFnet, VvR, Nederland ICT and partner Rabobank, it unites the organisations that make the Internet possible in the Netherlands. DDA also actively works with market participants, the government and other interest groups.

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