Trade with developing countries has tripled

Dutch trade in goods with developing countries has tripled over the past decade whereas development aid was downsized, as reported by Statistics Netherlands in the latest internationalisation monitor.

Trade with developing countries has grown explosively

In recent years, Dutch trade with the world’s 48 least developed countries has grown explosively. Imports from these countries have tripled as of 2006 to over 3 billion euros in 2014. Over the same period, exports also multiplied by a factor of 3 to 4.5 billion euros. Even as world trade went through strong decline, Dutch exports to these countries continued to grow. The increase in trade with developing countries was three to four times stronger than the growth of total imports and exports of the Netherlands.

Trade in goods with developing countries, 2006-2014

Less development aid

In contrast with trade, Dutch development aid as a percentage of gross national income (GNI) has declined. Development aid  dropped in this period from 0.81 percent to 0.67 percent of GNI. As GNI increased overall, the decline in development aid did remain limited in absolute terms.

Development aid to and imports from LDCs per capita, 2000-2014

Most exports to Togo, Senegal and Guinea

The most important markets for Dutch companies are Togo, Senegal and Guinea, each accounting for over 10 percent of the total exports to developing countries. Exports are dominated by refined petroleum products. In addition, Angola, Yemen and Mauritania are relatively big markets. Imports from the poorest countries are more concentrated geographically than exports. Angola, Bangladesh and Equatorial Guinea together account for three quarters of total imports from developing countries. Imports from Angola and Equatorial Guinea deal primarily with energy, including crude oil and natural gas condensates. Imports from Bangladesh are 90 percent ‘miscellaneous manufactured  goods’, with clothing constituting the bulk.

Destination of Dutch exports to LDCs, 2014

The Netherlands and other former colonial powers dominate imports of raw materials from developing countries

A proportionately major share of Dutch imports per capita of raw material resources is from the least developed countries. Not only has the Netherlands been at the top of the list of countries importing the largest share of raw materials per capita, imports of energy and minerals, in particular, have also increased significantly over the past fifteen years. Aside from the Netherlands many other former colonial powers such as Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom also appear to be importing a great amount of raw materials from the least developed countries.