Going Dutch: will Amsterdam grab a slice of the post-Brexit cake?Renate van der Zee in Amsterdam
Thursday 26 January 2017 07.15 GMT
Is Amsterdam going to be the new London? Some people seem to think so. Ever since last June’s Brexit vote, there has been serious talk of the Dutch capital as a potential candidate – if a slightly less obvious one than Paris, Frankfurt or Dublin. The American professor of business journalism, James B Stewart, even pronounced Amsterdam the “winner” in his column for the New York Times.
Among his reasons are the people’s impressive grasp of the English language, their good international schools, and the picturesqueness of their capital. On top of that, Amsterdam already is a centre of international commerce, has one of the best European airports, and has a very good rail network that takes you to Brussels in a mere two hours.
Some European cities have made overt attempts to present themselves as a viable alternative to London as the financial capital of Europe. Shortly after the Brexit vote, a truck with a billboard advising “Dear start-ups, Keep calm and move to Berlin” was seen driving through London. Online advertisements aimed at international banks emerged saying “Welcome to Paris Region”, and more than 4,000 British-based executives were contacted to point out the advantages of the French capital.