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Think Netherlands. Enter: Tulips, windmills, bicycles.
The Dutch are known for many things, including their neon orange football jerseys. For some, it may come as a surprise that tulips, gouda cheese, and caramel waffles aren’t considered one of the top markets in the Netherlands. Given Rotterdam Port’s reign as Europe’s top port, it’s no one’s guess as to the transportation industry’s importance in the Dutch economy. In this post, we delve into the fastest-growing markets in the Netherlands.
To begin, here are some basic figures regarding the Oranje:
Population: 16.9 million (2015)
GDP: $738.4 billion USD (2015)
GDP per capita: $43,603.1 (2015)
Following the global economic downturn, the Dutch economy is expected to grow by 2.0% and 1.8% in 2016 and 2017 respectively. That said, real GDP is also expected to average around 1.5% per year from 2018 to 2020. Currently, the country is witnessing a strong economic recovery. That’s mainly due to a spurt in the domestic economy. Internationally, however, uncertainties remain.
Based on Dutch market data collected over the past decade or so, the fastest growing markets in the Netherlands are the transportation, chemical and agricultural sectors. Transportation should come as no surprise, given the strategic location of Rotterdam Port providing it access to important markets in Europe.
Here’s a look at the fastest growing markets in the Netherlands:
Evidencing the country’s growth over the past decade is US investments in the Netherlands, which have been increasing every year. The $858 billion worth of investments in 2015 marks a more than seven-fold increase since 2000 ($115.43 billion).
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Netherlands ranks 4th out of 138 countries in the global competitiveness index (2016 to 2017). Ranking just behind Switzerland, Singapore, and the US, it overtook Germany from the previous year, who slipped to 5th. This rise is attributed to improvements in infrastructure, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, technological readiness, business sophistication and innovation.
You can download the WEF’s 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Report here.
There are, however, certain aspects the Dutch government will need to work on in order to improve its competitiveness. The biggest obstacles to doing business in the Netherlands include:
Restrictive labor regulations
Insufficient capacity to innovate
Inefficient government bureaucracy
Access to financing
That said, the Netherlands ranks extremely high on quality of its scientific research institutions and closeness between universities and the private sector. Classified as an innovation-driven economy, and has a modern and developed economy. For now, there’s a heavy focus on the chemical, metallurgy, and electrical goods industries.