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The Dutch minister is optimistic that chip company ASML will continue to operate in the Netherlands.

The Dutch government last month launched a campaign dubbed “Operation Beethoven” in an attempt to address ASML’s concerns and convince them to stay in the Netherlands. The semiconductor-equipment maker has since ruled out a complete departure from the Netherlands, but the company remains unhappy with its home country’s approach to fostering growth. “There is a considerable gap between the concerns of industry, and what we think is necessary, and what politicians think,” ASML CEO Peter Wennink told reporters. If ASML can’t grow in the Netherlands, “it can do so elsewhere,” he reportedly said. The Dutch are still working to appoint a new government, and plans approved by Parliament to cap the number of foreign students and scrap the skilled-migrant tax break have upset several businesses in the country, including ASML and Dutch chipmaker NXP.

ASML, a core player in the world’s semiconductor supply chain, has been involved in geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China, facing restrictions on exporting some tools to China. The trade block was imposed following the U.S. government’s tightened export controls on advanced semiconductors and chipmaking tools to China. The Dutch government is cooperating with ASML and the U.S. on chip export controls regarding China. The Finance Minister noted that ASML is a vital component of the Dutch economy and emphasized the importance of supporting the company’s growth while ensuring compliance with all regulations.

‘Crown jewel’ of Dutch economy

In a recent meeting, Minister Steven van Weyenberg expressed his confidence in ASML’s future within the Netherlands, citing discussions with the cabinet and ASML regarding the firm’s expansion plans. He highlighted the significance of ASML’s presence to the Dutch economy, referring to the company as one of the crown jewels of the nation. Despite challenges posed by global economic fragmentation, the Minister emphasized the need to uphold regulations and security standards, particularly in relation to China. ASML’s pivotal role in the semiconductor industry and its contributions to innovation make it a key asset to the Dutch growth model.

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