The Netherlands exported 235 billion euro worth of goods in 2002. One quarter of this value, 58 billion euro, was exported to Germany. In 1990, 28 percent of total exports went to Germany. It should be noted in this respect that exports to Germany showed an exceptional decrease of 7 percent in 2002 compared with the previous year.
Dutch trade with Germany, 2002
Fewer imports from Germany
The Netherlands imported 40 billion worth of goods from Germany in 2002. This is nearly 20 percent of Dutch imports last year. The share of Germany in total imports also decreased: in 1990 26 percent of Dutch imports came from this country. Unlike exports though, German imports fell only slightly (-1 percent) in 2002.
Dutch trade with main partners, 2002; % change on 2001
Main trade partner
Germany is still the Netherlands’ largest trade partner, followed at a distance by Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and the United States. Together, these five countries account for nearly two-thirds of Dutch exports and more than half of Dutch imports.
Dutch trade with main partners, 2002; x billion euro
EU share in Dutch trade
While in 1990 more than 80 percent of Dutch trade remained within the EU, this had fallen to 76 percent in 2002.
The share of Dutch imports from EU countries has fallen significantly in recent years: from two-thirds of trade in 1990 to 57 percent twelve years later.
Dutch trade with eastern Europe and Asia
The share of Dutch exports to eastern Europe rose, on the other hand, from just over one percent in 1990 to nearly 5 percent in 2002.
The share of imports from Asia is increasing. One fifth of Dutch imports now come from Asia; in 1990 this was only 12 percent.