Economic growth in Brainport Eindhoven was again stronger last year than in the rest of the Netherlands (3.3% versus 2.6%). However, the differences are narrowing. Regional growth is mainly driven by the manufacturing industry; exports of goods have never been as high as in 2018: €31.9 billion. At 17.7% compared to 2017, it also sees the strongest growth in the past decade. ASML is largely responsible for this – and partly because of this, Germany is no longer the largest market in terms of export value. The US and China have pushed that country into third place. This is revealed in the data published today in the Brainport Monitor 2019.
Brainport chairman and mayor of Eindhoven John Jorritsma said today, in an explanation of these data, that Brainport is becoming a household name in China. “I just came back from a visit to that country and it really struck me how important we are now over there. We are an iconic concept, we can be really proud of that.” In the Netherlands, too, Brainport’s reputation has increased significantly since the name “Metropolitan region Brainport Eindhoven” appeared on PSV’s shirts. Commercial director Frans Janssen of PSV said today that already 36% of the Dutch people know the name, compared to only 4% half a year ago. “Without having done anything extra for that.”
Economic prosperity is also reflected in the increasing innovative power of Brainport Eindhoven, the report says. Never before have there been so many patent applications (7,140) at the European patent office in the Netherlands as in 2018. With companies such as Philips, Signify, NXP and ASML, Noord-Brabant is responsible for 50.3% of the total Dutch patent applications. This puts the province in 5th place on the list of most European patent applications for European regions. Here you can read more about the patent applications.
Although the employment rate is rising proportionally both regionally and nationally, and the unemployment rate is back at the level it was before the economic crisis, the continuous growth of the economy is leading to more and more tension in the labour market. In tech and IT, in particular, many vacancies remain open and in 2018 more than a quarter (27.6%) of the total number of vacancies created in Brainport Eindhoven is in tech and IT. The number of tech and IT vacancies in 2018 has grown more than 1.5 times faster in the region than nationally.
No Germans but Bulgarians
Despite a decrease in the number of foreign migrants, 2018 has the highest net migration balance of the past 10 years. This is due to the domestic migration balance, which is positive again after years of decline. In the same year, the province of North Brabant had 10,600 international students, 3,400 of whom were studying technology. The largest group is no longer from Germany but from Bulgaria.
According to Jorritsma, the region is still in good shape. “We score above average in almost all statistics. We have been riding in the yellow jersey for years. Of course, that’s more tiring than riding in the peloton, but we manage wonderfully well.”
At the same time another wind is blowing, Jorritsma said with a reference to a recent study by RaboResearch. “We need to pay full attention to the wide range of prosperity. Social security, health, welfare, enjoyment of life and safety are important to everyone. On average, we may be doing well on these criteria, but what good is this if one cannot enjoy it? Certain groups feel orphaned, misunderstood. They lack affordable housing, they don’t have the right qualifications, and there are people in debt who are distanced from facilities such as sports and culture. This is a task for us. Brainport is there for everyone.”