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.
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.
|Value of Dutch indirect exports to Germany via this country
|Rest of the World
|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.
|Direct exports (bn euros)
|Indirect exports (bn euros)
|Wholesale and retail
|Chemical and pharmaceutical
|Mining and quarrying
|Transport and storage
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing
|Food, beverages and tobacco
|Healthcare and welfare
|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.