Economic globalisation is characterised by increasing international trade, foreign investment and international outsourcing. For the Netherlands, this concerns activities by Dutch multinational firms abroad as well as foreign enterprises in the Netherlands. Not only do these cross-border activities have important economic consequences, they also raise a number of questions with respect to employment: does outsourcing reduce employment? How many jobs are created by incoming investment? If employers start importing products from emerging markets like China and India, how will this affect individual employees’ wages, and how do these effects differ from those of trading relations with traditional partners like the EU and the US?
This fourth edition of the Internationalisation Monitor describes the recent developments in international trade in goods and in services, outsourcing, foreign direct investment, international labour migration, and traffic and transport in the Netherlands. In addition, a set of focused analytical chapters provides in-depth analyses of how these globalisation trends affect employment.
Some important findings in this edition are:
The share of imports coming from BRIC countries quadrupled since 1996 from 4 to 16 percent in 2010, making China the third most important source of Dutch imports.
One in ten firms in the Netherlands is active in international trade. The top 1 percent of traders generated 74 percent of Dutch imports and 71 percent of exports in 2008.
In 2009, 1 percent of companies in the Netherlands were foreign-owned. They generated more than a quarter of the added value, one-sixth of employment and nearly a third of turnover of the private sector.
Foreign firms investing in the Netherlands create new employment. Foreign start-ups tend to be much larger in terms of jobs created compared with Dutch controlled firms (40 jobs in the first year of establishment, versus 4 for Dutch controlled firms), and also employ more high-paid employees.
With the exception of manufacturing firms, the number of jobs per enterprise increases slightly after acquisition, regardless of the nationality of the acquirer or acquiree.
Exporters, importers and two-way-traders pay higher wages, employ more high-skilled workers and are more productive than enterprises that do not trade. Wages and number of employees are highest at firms that import from and export goods to a wide range of countries.
Enterprises that mainly import from China and other BRIC countries are on average the smallest enterprises in terms of employees, and pay the least amount of salaries.
Internationalisation Monitor 2011
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