Half of the Dutch international trade in the hands of foreign companies

03/11/2010 15:00

In 2008 about half of the Dutch import value of goods and nearly 45 percent of the export value could be attributed to a foreign-owned company. This trade value is realised by just 4 percent of the importers and 6 percent of the exporters in the Netherlands.

Mainly imports and re-exports

Foreign-owned companies tend to be more active in importing than in exporting goods. They also engage relatively often in re-exports. In 2008 some 60 percent of Dutch re-exports were in hands of a company with a foreign parent company. It is mostly the American and Japanese companies that are active in this area.

Share of foreign-owned companies in international trade, 2008

Share of foreign-owned companies in international trade, 2008

Mainly American and German companies active in Dutch trade

Foreign-owned trading companies come comparatively often from the neighbouring countries and the United States. Almost half of all foreign-owned exporters in 2008 were companies of which the parent company is in the US, Germany or the UK. Exporters from these countries account for over 60 percent of the import and export value.

Relatively few companies are Japanese owned, but they do have a large share in the import and export value. Then there are relatively many Belgian and French-owned companies but these only contribute a limited amount to the import and export value.

Import and export value of foreign-owned companies, 2008

Import and export value of foreign-owned companies, 2008

Machinery, transport material and chemical products mainly traded by foreign-owned companies

In 2008 over 60 percent of Dutch international trade consisted of machinery and transport equipment, chemical products and mineral fuels. The foreign-owned companies mainly traded in machinery and transport equipment, and chemical products. They are also the largest party in re-exporting these products.

Dutch-owned companies mainly traded in food and live animals, raw materials and mineral fuels. The re-export of these products was also largely in the hands of Dutch companies.

Marjolijn Jaarsma