The international trade between Germany and the Netherlands grew once again last year by more than 4% to 157.6 billion euros. This made the Netherlands Germany’s most important trade partner after France.
Germany is the Netherlands’ most important trade partner. Approximately 18% of Dutch imports come from Germany and 24% of Dutch exports go to Germany. There is nothing surprising about this, since with 82 million inhabitants Germany is the largest consumer market in Europe.
The Netherlands and Germany see each other as important trade partners as far as exports are concerned. The Netherlands ranked fourth in 2012 among recipients of Germany’s exports (71 billion euros / 6.5% of total exports in 2012). Only exports to France, the United States and the United Kingdom represented larger shares. Conversely, with 42.1% (97.1 billion euros) Germany accounts for the largest share of Dutch exports.
When it comes to imports, the Netherlands and Germany are each other’s most important trade partners. In 2012 the German share of imports from the Netherlands amounted to 9.5% (86.6 billion euros).
In 2011 mainly cars and means of transport, machinery, chemical products, semi-manufactures, metal products, electronics and food products were exported from Germany to the Netherlands. In the opposite direction, mainly machinery, means of transport, fossil fuels and lubricants, chemical products and food products were exported from the Netherlands to Germany.
Germany is an attractive country for the Dutch to set up businesses. The Dutch are mainly active in the following industries across the border:
• Services (22.7%)
• Trade brokerage and wholesale (18.26%)
• Property (8.37%)
• Construction sector (4.34%)
Each year, a number of promising sectors are identified in Germany which are interesting for Dutch entrepreneurs. These sectors are ascertained based on the development and size of markets and the opportunities for import and any investments from the Netherlands. At the moment, healthcare, ICT, energy (sustainable energy), environmental technology and medical technology are promising.