Smartphone most imported high-tech product

The Netherlands imported over 15 billion euros worth of smartphones and other mobile phones in 2016. The smartphone is therefore the most imported high-tech product and the Netherlands the largest importer of smartphones in the European Union. These imports, however, mainly represent transit trade. This is one of the conclusions in the latest Internationalisation Monitor released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

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.

Most imported high-tech goods (including transit flows)
 20162012
Mobile phones15.18.3
Modems and routers12.48
Laptops and tablets10.813
Antisera and vaccines5.42.3
Desktops3.93.4

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.

Most exported high-tech goods (including transit flows)
 Transit trade of foreign goodsExport of Dutch goods
Mobile phones14.50.1
Modems and routers11.60.6
Laptops and tablets90.3
Antisera and vaccines71
Computer and office equipment parts7.20.4
Chip-making equipment, etc.13.9
Desktops3.70.3
Computer storage units30.2
Protheses2.20.6
Processors and controllers0.50.5

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.

Share of high-tech goods in total goods exports, 2016
 Share
Ireland28
France21.9
Netherlands21.6
Malta20
United Kingdom19
Hungary16.3
Germany15.9
Estonia15.8
Luxembourg15.5
Czech Republic15.4
Austria14.7
Sweden13.7
Denmark10.8
Belgium10.1
Latvia10.1
Croatia9.8
Slovakia9.8
Poland8.5
Romania8.5
Lithuania8
Italy7.5
Finland7.3
Cyprus7
Slovenia5.9
Spain5.4
Greece5.1
Bulgaria5
Portugal4.6
0
EU-2814.8
0
Netherlands (Dutch goods only)9.1