The trade in goods between China and the Netherlands has risen sharply in the last five years. Imports of computers grew especially spectacularly. The trade deficit with China rose to more than 7.5 billion euro in 2001.
Imports more than quadrupled
The explosive growth of trade with China was mainly on the import side. In the last five years the total import value of goods from China more than quadrupled, while total imports into the Netherlands rose by 55 percent in this period. Nearly 9 billion euro worth of goods were imported into the Netherlands from China in 2001, accounting for four percent of Dutch imports. In 2000 Chinese imports accounted for 3.2 percent of all imports.
Trade with China 1996-2001
Imports from China
The composition of the package of imports has changed considerably. There has been a shift towards more high quality product categories: computers, computer components, telecommunications equipment, consumer electronics and other office equipment are top of the list of imported products.
Imports from China 1996
The share of computers and other electronics has doubled in the last five years at the expense of all other product categories. The share of the traditionally strong textile sector was nearly halved in this period, and the proportion of agricultural products was also drastically reduced. In spite of this, the value of imports in all product groups increased in absolute terms.
Imports from China 2001
Chinese ban on Dutch products
In April this year China imposed a complete ban on the import of Dutch animal products. In 2001 the Netherlands exported 26 million euro worth of meat and dairy products to China. This is less than one half of a percent of total Dutch exports of these products. In 2001 exports of meat products to China were 11 million euro down on 2000. A large part of this decrease was caused by China refusing imports because of the foot-and-mouth crisis in the Netherlands.