Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Dutch gov’t introduces ‘investment screening’ for sensitive tech

By Toby Sterling

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A Dutch law giving the government power to review foreign technology investments and block takeovers on national security grounds is set to go into effect this week, the government said on Wednesday.

Economic Affairs Minister Micky Adriaansens, who will oversee the new Investment Review Office, said in a statement she has also opened a portal for Dutch companies to learn what foreign firms they may securely do business with and where they may legally export sensitive technologies.

Though the investment screening law has been under consideration for years, its enactment comes ahead of new restrictions on exports of Dutch semiconductor technology to China under pressure from the United States.

“Takeovers, mergers and other forms of investment are being used more often by states to reach their geopolitical goals,” the statement said, adding that the information portal will be operated in cooperation with the country’s intelligence agency.

We “have agreed that Dutch business interests and national security shall be better protected,” it said.

Under the new law, plans to buy vital Dutch infrastructure, real estate or technology must be reported to the Investment Review Office and kept on standstill for 8 weeks to six months while it drafts advice for the government on security implications.

“The ministers can then attach conditions to the investment or in the utmost case, forbid it,” it said.

The law was drafted by successive Dutch governments following attempts in the 2010s by foreign firms to buy companies such as telecom KPN, paint maker Akzo Nobel and consumer goods giant Unilever, which later moved its sole headquarters to London for tax reasons.

The law’s scope was expanded to include real estate after the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, where many technology firms have offices, was sold in 2021 to a subsidiary of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)


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