An investigation of the extent to which the export performance of Dutch exporters is tied to their import behavior with a particular focus on the network dimension of trading.
We investigate to what extent the export performance of Dutch exporters is tied to their import behavior. In doing so, we particularly focus on the network dimension of trading. Firms importing from the same country as they serve as an exporter consistently show higher export growth and survival rates on these destination markets. Our findings suggest that firms which are familiar with a particular market and are in possession of a network of contacts and trading partners there are able to boost export performance on that market. The importance of being well connected to foreign markets directly or indirectly is also reflected by the fact that serving a wider variety of export markets is associated with increased export performance on a particular destination market, in addition to the number of (potentially competing) exporters from the same domestic industry serving that particular destination market. Policymakers may capitalize on these findings by focusing attention on capacity building in the field of networking in the development of export promotion programs.