In the Zuid-Holland region of The Netherlands, Rotterdam is the country’s second largest city known for its rich architectural heritage and design and for being home to Europe’s largest port. The Port of Rotterdam has dominated the world stage since the mid 20th century, and it was the world’s top port for over four decades from 1962 to 2004. Although it has fallen slightly to 11th place in the world’s standing, the port continues to see growth and remains the most important on the continent. This fact, along with the city’s strategic network of railroads, waterways, and roads, earned Rotterdam the official nickname “Gateway to Europe”.
Rotterdam also enjoys the status of being the economic engine of the entire region. It currently has the largest concentration of process industry in the Netherlands, with several oil refineries (Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, Kuwait Petroleum) and many other chemical and related industries. Other strong economic sectors include clean tech, life sciences and health, agriculture and food, transport and logistics, and finance.
The city also has a “room for initiatives” concept and a “down to work” mentality that make it an ideal haven for entrepreneurs. Additionally, the city has been included on the ‘Tech Cities of the Future 2020/2021’ ranking by fDi Magazine, and it occupies the 15th spot in the ranking for FDI strategy and is the second ranking Dutch city after Amsterdam (6th position).
Besides being an innovative and entrepreneurial city, Rotterdam is young, modern, and diverse with about 640,000 inhabitants and over 170 nationalities, and it is home to internationally renowned knowledge institutions and universities, the most influential being Erasmus University. More than 50,000 students study in Rotterdam, making it one of the largest student cities in Holland. This also creates a talented and highly skilled workforce, attracting national and international business.