Exports to Germany account for 6.7 percent of GDP

© Hollandse Hoogte
Dutch enterprises earn over 45 billion euros in exports to Germany, accounting for 6.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). This has been calculated by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of 2016 OECD figures, which are the most recent data available. Despite the fact that these figures are a few years old, they provide greater insight into global interdependence than the standard trade figures; this is because the trade flows beyond Dutch borders have also been incorporated. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this in its latest edition of the Internationalisation Monitor, which focuses on trade relations with Germany.

 In 2016, Dutch enterprises achieved a total net revenue of 39 billion euros in exports to Germany. Another source of revenue for these enterprises are supplies that are sold to other countries and subsequently exported to Germany. For example: in 2016, the Netherlands earned 6.1 billion euros in exports from various other countries to Germany incorporating Dutch raw materials, semi-manufactured goods and supporting services. Many production processes nowadays are sliced up into various activities which take place in different countries. Such indirect export revenues are created by the Netherland’s role as a supplier in so-called global value chains (GVCs), with Germany as the final destination.

Nearly three-quarters of Dutch export revenues in trade with Germany is generated from final consumption expenditure in Germany. Think of Dutch cheese which is consumed in German households; or a Dutch-manufactured microchip producing machine which is being used in a German factory. The remainder of the Dutch export revenues (11.7 billion euros) originates from the processing of Dutch intermediate products, semi-manufactured goods or supporting services in Germany, where they are subsequently exported again to other countries. The bulk of these German exports incorporating Dutch inputs is ultimately consumed outside the European Union, in particular the United States and China.

How much and in what form does the Netherlands earn from exports of goods and services to Germany?3.3.1 How much and in what form does the Netherlands earn from exports of goods and services to Germany? €39.0 bn in Dutch exports to Germany €6.1 bn in Indirect exports €33.5 bn in Consumption €11.7 bn in Consumption elsewhere 3.3.1 How much and in what form does the Netherlands earn from exports of goods and services to Germany?ConsumptionSource: OECD, own calculations€33.5 bn€6.1 bnIndirect exports€39.0 bnDutch exports to Germany€11.7 bnConsumption elsewhere

Over 1/4 of indirect revenues in trade with Germany via Belgium

Nearly 26 percent of Dutch earnings from indirect exports to Germany is generated from supplies to Belgium. The main Belgian industries which process Dutch products are the petroleum industry, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and the food, beverages and tobacco industry. Supplies to Ireland are good for approximately 10 percent of those Dutch export revenues which are indirectly earned from Germany. These are mainly supplies for IT services and the chemical industry in Ireland. Approximately 7 percent of the indirect Dutch export earnings is processed in France. The Dutch chemical and pharmaceutical industry as well as the other transport equipment industry generate most of their indirect export revenues from Dutch inputs supplied to France. Other indirect export partners in the top ten are also countries in Europe. In indirect export revenues going through Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Austria, it is primarily the automotive industry which processes Dutch goods and services in its exports to Germany.

Dutch indirect export revenues from trade of other countries with Germany, 2016
landValue of Dutch indirect exports to Germany via this country
United Kingdon263
Czech Republic217
Rest of the World1630
Source: OESO, own calculations.

Highest amounts earned by wholesale and retail trade and business services

At 9.5 billion euros, the Dutch wholesale and retail trade sector and business services recorded the highest earnings from direct and indirect exports to Germany, followed by business services (6.5 billion euros). The chemical and pharmaceutical industry, the food, beverages and tobacco industry and the petroleum industry accounted for the highest export earnings in trade with Germany among all manufacturing industries.

Industries with the highest revenues from exports to Germany, 2016
 Direct exports (bn euros)Indirect exports (bn euros)
Wholesale and retail8.2741.257
Business services5.3181.178
Chemical and pharmaceutical2.8290.434
Mining and quarrying2.4960.749
Transport and storage2.6470.436
Agriculture, forestry and fishing2.3760.138
Financial services1.9660.455
Food, beverages and tobacco1.8560.122
Healthcare and welfare1.0670.168
Source: OECD, own calculations

For more information, including more on the interlinkages between the Netherlands and Germany in the fields of trade, investments, multinationals, enterprise births and corporate acquisitions, and public mobility: Go to the Internationalisation Monitor Q1 2020, which covers trade relations with Germany.