Choose one of more than 3,000 market research reports on Dutch industries and markets in our online store. Each of the studies offers thorough industry analysis, a detailed market overview, discussion of industry drivers and restraints, and much more.
In 2013, the Netherlands had an estimated GDP of USD 880.54 billion. It is the fifth largest economy in Europe and is the continent’s fifth largest exporter. Inflation was running at 2.9% in 2013 and unemployment at 7.1%. It is estimated to be the 16th largest economy in the world.
In 2009, the economy suffered a shock when it shrank 4% due to the global financial crisis. It grew in 2010 by 1.6% but slowed again in 2011 due to sluggish domestic consumption and the stagnant housing market. The Eurozone crisis added to the country's woes through 2012 and 2013 with the economy still in recession. The central bank of the Netherlands has predicted a slow return to growth over 2014-2015. The economy is still burdened by high private debt and government austerity measures that have suppressed domestic spending. In November 2013 the credit rating was downgraded from AAA to AA+ due to worries concerning growth prospects.
Its export partners by volume are Germany, Belgium, France, the UK and Italy. As for imports the main partners are Germany, China, Belgium, the UK, Russia, the US and France.
Dividing industry into the three sectors, agriculture provides 2.0% of GDP with industry contributing 23.9% and services a very large 74.2%. Industries with worldwide reputation include agro industries, metal and engineering, petroleum and chemicals, and micro electronics. Companies well known around the world included in the top 10 list of Dutch countries are: ING Insurance, Royal Philips Electronics, Akzo Nobel Chemical, and Royal KPN Telecommunications.
Profits in the agricultural sector are very high. It contributed USD 9 billion to GDP in 2011. The use of agricultural surface area extremely intense and the sector is highly mechanised. Around 61% of production is exported. Main crops include cereals, potatoes and horticultural products such as cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. Multinational Company Unilever is of the leading players in the Dutch agricultural sector. Market research reports are optimistic about growth in the period 2011 to 2016 with an average figure of 2.5% rising to USD 10.2 billion by the end of this period.
The Netherlands produce 30% of Europe’s natural gas, making it the continent’s second largest producer and the 10th largest in the world. In 2010, it produced 25.3 billion cubic meters of gas. The country has a highly developed distribution pipeline system stretching over 136,000 kilometres. Continued growth in the industry of around 1.8% on average is expected until 2016, reaching a level of USD 11.8 billion by the end of this period.
The Netherlands is one of the largest producers of petrochemicals in the world based around the city of Rotterdam. In 2013, the country had the capacity to produce the following in millions of tonnes: ethylene (3.98), PVC (675,00), polystyrene (95,000), polypropylene (780,000), and polyethylene terephthalate (450,000).
Although the industry is seeing profits narrow due to higher oil prices and keen prices for products, it is still attracting inward investment from economies such as Thailand. The biggest name in the sector is the renowned Royal Dutch Shell Group.
Food and beverages
With its strong agricultural sector it is no surprise that the country adds value to its products through the processing of food and beverages. Products such as alcoholic drinks, bread, breakfast cereals, confectionary and fruit juices are all well known. Market leaders include brewers such as Heineken. Founded in 1864 and operating 190 breweries in 70 countries, the company it the 3rd largest brewer in the world. Latest figures for the sector show strength of the market up to 2009 with Alcoholic drinks work around USD 14.1billion, dairy products USD 7.9billion and confectionary USD 2.1 billion.
This is a diverse sector of the economy with contributions from transportation, distribution, logistics, banking and insurance.