In 2016, high-tech imports into the Netherlands represented a value of over 95 billion euros. Approximately four-fifths represent goods in transit while around one-fifth is destined for the Dutch market. High-tech goods are products that are manufactured using a high intensity of R&D, e.g. pharmaceuticals and ICT products.
With an import value of more than 12 billion euros, modems and routers were the second most imported high-tech products in 2016, followed by laptops and tablets (nearly 11 billion euros). Antisera and vaccines are in fourth place with an import value exceeding 5 billion euros. In 2012, laptops and tablets were still the most imported high-tech commodities.
The Netherlands is an important transit country for ICT and other high-tech products that are largely manufactured in Asia. The majority of imported high-tech products are transit goods destined for the European hinterland.
Dutch chip-making equipment among top ten export products
Most high-tech products exported by the Netherlands are manufactured abroad. As much as 81 percent of Dutch high-tech exports are imported goods. The other 19 percent are produced domestically. Therefore, the four most imported high-tech commodities are the same as the four most exported.
Chip-making equipment ranks sixth in the top ten of most exported high-tech products, representing an export value of nearly 5 billion euros. Most chip-making equipment is manufactured in the Netherlands.
In 2016, the Netherlands exported over 111 billion euros worth of high-tech goods, of which nearly 22 billion euros represented Dutch-manufactured goods. High-tech exports yielded over 17 billion euros, of which 11 billion euros can be attributed to domestically produced goods.
Dutch exports strongly focussed on high-tech
In comparison with exports in other EU countries, Dutch exports are strongly high-tech oriented. This is mainly due to large transit flows entering and leaving the Netherlands. When including transit trade, 21.6 percent of the entire Dutch export volume represent high-tech products. Only Ireland’s and France’s exports are even more high-tech oriented (28.0 and 21.9 percent respectively). When looking at export of Dutch-made goods only, the Netherlands has a much lower share. Only 9.1 percent of total Dutch goods exports are high-tech commodities.