If someone were to ask me what makes Amsterdam such an attractive global business hub, the first things I would mention would be our unique combination of a strong financial hub at the Zuidas and our three ports: Schiphol airport, the Port of Amsterdam and AMS-IX.
We were probably not the only city who missed the founding of the AMS-IX Association in 1994. In the early days, only ICT specialists seemed to grasp the importance of AMS-IX and its unique, neutral and open exchange approach. However, AMS-IX is currently the world’s largest exchange, looking at the number of connected parties, and its visionary qualities are now widely recognised.
With our solid digital infrastructures, our city aims to hold a permanent place amongst the top five most attractive European locations for internationally operating companies. That’s why we’re working hard at attracting foreign firms and making the business climate as inviting as possible. For this purpose, we’re working closely together with selected knowledge institutes, companies and Dutch and European cities.
Our relationship with AMS-IX is excellent. In regular meetings with AMS-IX, telecom providers and data centres, we discuss market developments and how ‘quantum leaps’ in Internet infrastructure can be realised. Various council departments are constantly in touch with AMS-IX management, who are closely involved in developing our data centre policies.
Our municipality is actively inviting data centres to set up operations here, making conditions as attractive as possible and paying special attention to efficient space usage. Each time a company decides to establish a presence in our region, as Microsoft recently did when it decided to open Europe’s largest Data Centre in Middenmeer, the ICT ecosystem is strengthened further.
AMS-IX is not only important for IT firms, such as Internet Service Providers, carriers, web hosting companies and search engines, but also for financial institutions and other companies which demand reliable and fast connections. AMS IX actively contributes to the economic development of Amsterdam, offering high-quality jobs to talented, creative, internationally oriented global citizens, whilst stimulating other businesses and the more ‘traditional’ local economy.
It’s great to see how AMS-IX has expanded from one to three, and soon five continents. It is wonderful that global players such as Google and Netflix appreciate the value of the AMS-IX model to the extent they’ve asked them to replicate their success in New York and possibly elsewhere. I’ll be attending the launch of AMS-IX New York in person, following the emissaries who previously attended the opening of AMS-IX subsidiaries in Curaçao and in Hong Kong. Centuries after our Governor Stuyvesant played a role in shaping New York, Amsterdam is helping write another chapter in the city’s history: a fantastic achievement and an honour.
I would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to AMS-IX on its twentieth anniversary and look forward to many more decades of success.
Eberhard van der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam