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Dutch companies import business services worth 16 billion euros

posted onJune 22, 2018

The value of business services imported by the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2018 
amounted to 16 billion euros,  which is 54 percent more than in the same period of 2014, according to the Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

These included consulting, market research, consultancy and sales agent services. The increase was mainly seen in imports of marketing and mediation services from within Europe.

The largest and fastest-growing type of service imports are business service imports. In Q1 of this year, business services occupied a share of 36 percent in service imports, up from 30.5 percent in Q1 2014.

Over 62 percent of all business service imports in 2018 consist of marketing and mediation services. These also account for the lion’s share of the growth as seen since 2014 (80 percent).

Business service imports from within Europe showed the highest absolute growth, from nearly 7 billion euros in Q1 2014 to around 10.5 billion euros in the same period this year. Imports from Asia doubled over this period, but involved much smaller amounts. Asia has overtaken North America as the continent which supplies most services after Europe.

dutch business services imports Q1 2018

(Light blue: Europe, Dark blue: Asia Grey: North America Green: Other -Source: CBS)

Business service imports from within Europe primarily consist of marketing and mediation services. Expenditure on advertising and market research services nearly tripled from 0.75 billion euros in Q1 2014 to 2.2 billion euros in Q1 2018. In the same period, imports of consultancy and public relations services almost doubled from 1.1 to 2.0 billioneuros. At the same time, imports of sales agent services (e.g. agent fees) rose from 2.2 to 3.0 billion euros.

The most important supplier of marketing and mediation services to the Netherlands is the United Kingdom, followed by Germany and Ireland. These three countries together account for 59 percent of this type of service imports within the EU. Ireland mainly exports sales agent services to the Netherlands. Imports of advertising services from this country are limited in terms of their value, but do involve tens of thousands of Dutch importers. These pay relatively small amounts as fees for advertising services that help enhance the company’s visibility or findability on websites.

dutch business services imports

(Source: Statistics Netherlands (CBS)

Dutch exports on the rise again

In the period 2008-2017, the value of Dutch exports increased by over 174.5 billion euros. Goods exports rose by 125 billion euros and service exports by 50 billion euros. The sharpest increase was seen in exports of food, beverages and tobacco, electronic products, transport equipment and machinery. As for service exports, the export value of tourism-related services rose in particular. 

In percentage terms, the highest growth rate was recorded in Dutch goods exports to Asia, which increased by around 25 percent between 2015 and 2017  Goods exports to other countries around Europe increased by 12 percent. With a 77 percentshare, Europe is still the largest market for Dutch goods exports.

Similar to goods exports, the bulk of Dutch service exports is to other countries around Europe (68 percent). In percentage terms, the strongest increase between 2015 and 2017 was seen in service exports to Oceania, followed by service exports to Europe and Asia. The export value of business services, royalties and licence fees to both Europe and Asia increased in particular. Service exports to North and South America and to Africa declined between 2015 and 2017. 

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