The Balassa index measures the degree of specialisation of Dutch export products. If the Balassa index for a product is more than 1, it means that product involves specialisation. If it is less than 1 it means that no specialisation is involved in the product. The Dutch export of a given product is compared to the export of that product by the EU-28 (excluding the Netherlands). Up until 2017 the Balassa index was compared to the export of that product by the EU-28.
For example, the Balassa index for 06 Live trees and other plants, bulbs, roots and the like; cut flowers and ornamental foliage in the year 2017 is calculated as follows.
H6 Netherlands 2017: 8.9 billion euros
Total Netherlands 2017: 467.4 billion euros
The Netherlands: 1.9 percent
H6 other EU 2017: 4 billion euros
Total Nederland 2017: 4655 billion euros
Share: 0.085 percent
Balassa is 1,9/0.085 = 22.4
The outcome is 22.4. This is more than 1, which means that the Netherlands has an export specialisation for the export products live trees and other plants, bulbs, roots and the like; cut flowers and ornamental foliage compared with the EU-28 member states.