Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 8/16/2019
  • The United States’ partnership with the Netherlands is our oldest bilateral continuous relationship and dates back to the American Revolution.

  • The Netherlands is a geographically small (approximately the size of the state of Maryland), densely populated (17 million people) country occupying a highly strategic commercial location, with Europe’s largest port (by volume) in Rotterdam.

  • Over 170 million consumers (roughly one-third of the population of the expanded European Union of 28 Member States) reside within a 300-mile radius of Rotterdam.

  • More than 80 percent of the Netherlands’ GDP is generated by foreign trade in goods and services.

  • The Netherlands is a key center within the global business network with an advanced infrastructure geared towards the transportation of goods, people, and electronic data.

  • Its core distribution points include Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the fourth largest airport in Europe.

  • The Netherlands has capitalized on its location and advanced economy to become one of the top dozen trading countries in the world.

  • The Netherlands is the seventeenth largest economy in the world and the fifth largest in the European Monetary Union (the Eurozone), with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $912 billion in 2018.

  • The United States is the largest foreign investor in the Netherlands and our bilateral trade surplus ($24.7 billion in 2018) with the Netherlands is larger than that of any other  country with which the United States trades.

  • Various international surveys rank the Netherlands among the top countries in the industrialized world with the most favorable business and investment climates. The 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index ranks the Netherlands as sixth among the world's most competitive economies. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranks the Netherlands fifth in its 2018 global business environment ranking for the period 2018-2022.

    Top five reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to the Netherlands:

  • The ideal European starting point for new-to-export companies looking for their first European distributor.

  • An affluent, U.S.-friendly population with a high regard for U.S. products and the highest level of English-language fluency on the continent.

  • An innovative business community hungry for new, high quality products.

  • A country with the best logistics and distribution networks in Europe.

  • A country with the strong links to the rest of Europe and beyond.

  • The Netherlands recorded a 1.5 percent surplus in the 2018 general government budget, which was the second consecutive surplus.  Public revenue rose significantly (4.7 percent) mainly due to higher taxes and statutory contributions.  At the same time, government expenditure rose sharply at 4.1 percent.

    The Dutch economy is currently experiencing stable growth (2.5 percent in 2018), and the Dutch Government projects further growth of 1.5 percent of GDP in both 2019 and 2020.  Projected drivers of growth include increased exports and business investments as well as newly invigorated domestic consumption.



Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.