Whereas the Internationalisation Monitor explores one particular theme per quarter, Dutch Trade in Facts and Figures 2019 – Export, investment and employment presents a collection of key figures on the internationalisation of the Netherlands. Many such figures can be obtained from various CBS publications and datasets, but are not available in a single publication. This is why the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned the CBS Expertise Centre for Globalisation to develop Dutch Trade in Facts and Figures, a new publication which is released annually as of 2019. It provides a broad target audience with objective information on the internationalisation of the Dutch business economy and the wider economy. It also offers independent data to support the Foreign Ministry’s policy on trade. Aside from the set of tables which contains the most important figures, this publication also presents an outline of the major trends and developments as they emerge from these figures.

The Netherlands generates substantial revenues and employment from its exports. This and more is illustrated in this first edition of Dutch Trade in Facts and Figures. At the same time, revenues vary according to the type of exports; the highest revenue per euro is earned through exports of services, the lowest through re-exports. To be able to export goods, the Netherlands has to import large quantities of intermediate goods such as raw materials and semi-finished products. Many such intermediates are used during manufacturing, incorporated into the production process or traded. Conversely, a proportion of self-produced intermediate goods are used abroad.

Companies that import and export goods or services do not constitue a homogeneous group. They differ in many aspects, for example in the types of goods and services they trade, their location, size and ownership (Dutch or foreign). With the Rotterdam port-industrial complex, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and numerous logistics hubs, the Netherlands is a distribution country par excellence. Due in part to its logistically favourable location, the quality of its infrastructure and its knowledge of international trade, the Netherlands plays a prominent role in stocking the European hinterland. Consequently, about half of the goods traded by the Netherlands are re-exports, mostly with destinations within Europe. Aside from being a trading nation and a distribution hub, the Netherlands is also a major investment country. The Netherlands takes top position in worldwide comparisons of inward and outward foreign investments. This is evidenced by the number of multinationals operating in the Netherlands and the number of people working there.

More news and reports in the field of globalisation and internationalisation can be found at

Director General

Dr T.B.P.M. Tjin-A-Tsoi

The Hague/Heerlen/Bonaire, November 2019


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More information (in Dutch only):

Explanation of symbols

. Data not available
* Provisional figure
** Revised provisional figure
x Publication prohibited (confidential figure)
(Between two figures) inclusive
0 (0.0) Less than half of unit concerned
empty cell Not applicable
2018–2019 2018 to 2019 inclusive
2018/2019 Average for 2018 to 2019 inclusive
2018/’19 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., beginning in 2018 and ending in 2019
2016/’17–2018/’19 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., 2016/’17 to 2018/’19 inclusive

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

About CBS

CBS responds to developments in Dutch society by providing statistical information as facts that matter, and communicates on these facts with the outside world. In doing so, CBS offers insights into current developments in society and helps answer policy questions. Research at CBS is focused on broad trends in society and how these are interrelated.

CBS has offices in The Hague, Heerlen and Bonaire with altogether approximately 2,000 staff. A society-oriented working attitude is essential to CBS. CBS provides figures which are relevant to society. Every year, CBS publishes around 600 statistical studies. Virtually every day, CBS data and figures are communicated to the outside world via news releases, video messages and through social media. This results in some 50,000 articles per year in daily newspapers and on news sites.

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Linda Bruls

Loe Franssen

Marjolijn Jaarsma

Alex Lammertsma

Tom Notten

Pascal Ramaekers

Khee Fung Wong

Editorial team

Marjolijn Jaarsma

Alex Lammertsma

Pascal Ramaekers

Editors in chief

Marjolijn Jaarsma

Alex Lammertsma


We would like to thank the following colleagues who collaborated with us on this edition of Dutch Trade in Facts and Figures 2019 - Export, investment and employment:

Elijah Cats

Dennis Cremers

Frans Duijsings

Richard Jollie

Carla Sebo-Ros

Roos Smit

Sandra Vasconcellos

Roger Voncken

Hendrik Zuidhoek

CBS Translation Unit

We would also like to thank the following members of staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their feedback on a forerunner of Dutch Trade in Facts and Figures:

Klaas Bouman

Tom Beerling

Laurens den Hartog

Marga Veeneman