Internationalisation Monitor 2018, first quarter

In this edition of the Internationalisation Monitor, we present an overview of Dutch international trade from a global and historic perspective. Over the past century, the Netherlands has been able to further develop and consolidate its position as a trading nation, despite several crises. For years, The Netherlands has ranked among the top ten countries with the largest trade volume in goods and services. The country’s geographic location, large mainports and good infrastructure facilitate an ever-growing flow of re-exports to the European hinterland. Dutch-made goods are increasingly exported abroad as well. And this is increasingly further away. Our neighbouring countries were and still are the most important destinations for Dutch exports. However, this share has been declining. Dutch-made goods in particular are increasingly bound for Southeast Asia or North America. Large companies and foreign multinationals play a leading role in this.

With on-going globalisation, different stages of production are relocated to where production is cheapest or most efficient. In the past, products were often manufactured and consumed at one location in one country, but over the past few decades, this has been less and less the case. Exports increasingly often do not immediately reach their final destination. More and more, exports are being processed in the country of the purchaser (e.g. the EU) and subsequently exported onwards to other countries (e.g. China). This does not mean that the EU is less important for the Netherlands than it used to be, but that its position is changing from consumer to gateway to the rest of the world.
The Internationalisation Monitor describes trends in internationalisation and their consequences for the Dutch economy and society. It is a quarterly publication as part of CBS’ Globalisation development and publication programme, which is commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The aim of this research on Globalisation is to arrive at new insights in the field of globalisation in order to contribute to practices, policy making and science. At the core of this approach is the integration of a wide range of sources and already available microdata, combined with the application of advanced statistical methods such as I/O analysis. The ensuing results, i.e. newly developed statistics and accompanying analyses, are being published in the Internationalisation Monitor.