exports to EU countries account for over one fifth of GDP and jobs

12/05/2015 15:00

Statistics Netherlands: exports to EU countries account for over one fifth of GDP and jobs
According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands last week, goods and services exported to EU countries generated 140 billion euros in 2013, after deduction of the required imports. These exports accounted for 1.4 million FTEs. All in all exports to EU countries accounted for more than one fifth of GDP and employment in the Netherlands.

Exports to EU countries generate 140 billion euros

Dutch companies exported 385 billion euros worth of goods and services to other countries in the EU in 2013. They had to import 245 billion euros worth of goods and services to realise these exports: petroleum, for example, from which they make and export petrol. Dutch companies also import  smartphones from China in order to sell them in other countries. These re-exports generate much less per euro of export than goods and services actually produced in the Netherlands. Overall, exports to EU countries generate 140 billion euros for the Netherlands.

Composition of value of exports to EU countries, 2013

Trade, manufacturing and business services provide most employment

Exports to EU countries accounted for the equivalent of 1.4 million full-time jobs in 2013: two-thirds of the over 2 million FTEs generated by total exports and one fifth of total Dutch employment. The jobs were mainly in trade, transport, business services and manufacturing, together accounting for 1.1 million FTEs. Sectors such as education are much less internationally oriented, and export-related employment in this sector is therefore much lower.

Employment related to exports to EU countries, 2013

Exporters and suppliers provide jobs

While manufacturers actually export the products they make, business services are important suppliers to these exporters. If an accountancy bureau, for example, spends half its working hours on  the accounts of a factory that only makes goods for the export market, and the other half on the accounts of a bakery that produces for the Dutch market, half of the employment at that bureau is related to exports.

Contribution of exports to GDP

Economic contribution of exports to EU fairly stable

Although the contribution of exports to the Dutch economy is increasing, this is not the result of exports to EU countries. This contribution has changed only very slightly in the period 2006-2013, and was 21 percent on average. But the contribution of exports to countries outside the EU is rising steadily. In 2007 it was 9 percent, by 2013 it had already increased to 11 percent. Statistics Netherlands had already published figures showing that trade with countries outside the EU is becoming relatively more important. Economic growth in countries such as China is higher than that in the European Union. As a result, demand from these countries for Dutch goods is growing more substantially.