Ten percent of large companies in the Netherlands moved business activities to another country in the period 2009-2011. Lower wage costs were an important factor in this respect. In the space of three years, 18 thousand jobs have been relocated abroad.
ICT and administrative services most relocated
By far most large companies (90 percent) in the Netherlands did not relocate any activities to other countries in 2009-2011. Just over 4 percent of companies moved their main activity abroad and 7 percent relocated supporting activities to another country. ICT and administrative services were the most relocated activities.
Manufacturing more likely to relocate production
Manufacturing companies are more likely to relocate activities than companies in other sectors. They are especially more likely to move their main activity - mostly goods production - to another country.
Large companies relocating activities abroad, 2009-2011
Main destination: Europe
Companies relocating activities often choose a destination within Europe. The EU-15 countries are the most popular (42 percent), followed by the new EU-12 countries (25 percent). Outside Europe, India is the most popular destination (14 percent), followed by Oceania and other Asian countries (9 percent) and China (8 percent). India is relatively popular for services, China for production.
Destination of relocated activities, 2009-2011
Lower wage costs main motive
The main motives for relocating business activity are to reduce wage costs and strategic decision by the parent company. The latter relocations are undertaken by subsidiary companies at the behest of the Dutch or foreign-based parent company. Another important reason reported by companies was cost reduction other than wages.
Motives for relocating activities abroad, 2009-2011
18 thousand jobs moved abroad
As a result of the relocation of activities to other countries, relatively many Dutch manufacturing jobs in particular were lost: 2.7 percent of manufacturing jobs in 2009-2011, compared with 0.2 percent of jobs in other sectors. Overall, more than 18 thousand jobs were relocated to other countries in this period.
René Bongard and Bastiaan Rooijakkers