Business destination - HOLLAND
Pioneers in international business
Henk van der Zwan
Ambassador of the Kingdom of the
October 9, 2008
The contents of the presentation
I The Netherlands at a glance – basic information
II The Netherlands compared to Estonia
III The Netherlands’ economy
IV The Netherlands trade with Estonia
V How to find relevant business information about the Netherland
The Netherlands at a glance (1/3)
The Netherlands at a glance (2/3)
• Form of government: constitutional
monarchy, parliamentary democracy
• Head of state: Queen Beatrix
• In the Netherlands there is 12
provinces + two dependencies: Aruba
and the Netherlands Antilles
• The capital is Amsterdam (in the
province of Noord Holland)
• The government and the Royal House
are seated in The Hague (the
province of Zuid-Holland)
• Largest cities:
• Amsterdam: 743,393 inhabitants
Rotterdam: 599,859 inhabitants
The Hague: 472,087 inhabitants
281 011 inhabitants
The Netherlands at a glance (3/3)
• Low-lying country, with about 27% of its area and 60% of its
population located below sea level - 2/3 of country
permanently flooded if not for engineering ingenuity
• 70% of GDP earned below sea level
• One of world’s highest population densities
• The world’s sixth-larger exporter
• The second largest exporter of agriculture goods (after US)
• The seventh-largest recipient of foreign investments in the
•The Netherlands
and Estonia
In May 2008, Queen Beatrix visited
The Netherlands compared to Estonia (1/3)
The Kingdom of the
Population (UN, 2007) 16.14 million
41 864 sq km
Density (people per sq 392
Life expectancy (UN) 78 years (men)
82 years (women)
GDP per capita
46 041 USD
in 2007 (WB)
Dutch (official),
Frisian (official)
Republic of Estonia
1.34 million
45 227 sq km
66 years (men)
77 years (women)
15 856 USD
Estonian (official)
The Netherlands compared to Estonia (2/3)
The Kingdom of the
Republic of Estonia
Economic growth
3.5 %
6.3 %
Inflation rate (2007)
1.6 %
6.6 %
Working population
7 606 million
655 thousand
Unemployed (2007)
Structure of GDP
70 % from services,
27 % from industry,
3 % from agriculture
68 % from services
29 % from industry
3 % from agriculture
Export partners:
GER 25%; BEL 12.5%; FIN 18%; GER 13%;
UK 8.9%; FRA 8.2%;
SWE 10%; RUS 10%;
ITA 5.0%; US 5.0%
LIT 6%
The Netherlands compared to Estonia (3/3)
The Kingdom of the
Republic of Estonia
Main export
Machinery and equipment,
chemicals and fuels,
Machinery and equipment,
mineral fuels, wood and
articles of wood
Import partners
GER 19.4%; BEL 10.9%; FIN 17.5 %; SWE 13%;
LAT 11.5%; RUS 8%;
US 8.3%; CHN 8.1%;
LIT 6%
UK 6.2%
Main import
Machinery and transport
equipment, chemicals, fuels,
foodstuffs, clothing
Machinery and equipment,
mineral fuels, transport
The Netherlands compared to Estonia: Rankings
The Netherlands Estonia
Ease of Doing Business 2008 (by the 26 th
22 nd
World Bank Group)
Index of Economic Freedom 2008
(by the Heritage Foundation)
13 th
12 th
The Global Competitiveness Ranking 10 th
2007-2008 (by the World Economic
The Networked Readiness Index
6 th
2006-2007 (by the World Economic
Corruption Perception Index 2007
7 th
(by the Transparency International
27 th
20 th
28 th
•The Netherlands’ Economy –
Gateway to Europe
The Netherlands – Gateway to Europe
• An ideal location from where to penetrate markets throughout
all over the world
• More than 6,000 foreign companies have taken advantage
of the location by establishing operations in the Netherlands.
• 51% of all European Distribution Centres
• Strategic location in Europe - approx. 170 million people live
within a 500-kilometer radius of Amsterdam
• ...+ outward-looking business culture and productive, skilled
and multilingual workforce
Punching above economic weight
• Seeking consensus, building bridges
• The world’s first multinational was the United Dutch East Asia
• Gateway to Europe: reaching 500 million consumers
• Need land? We make it! World’s third agricultural exporter
• Climate too cold? We make it warm! Leader in cut flowers and bulbs
• Number of Dutch companies leaders in their industries
Peak performance in the delta
• Combining infrastructure, R&D, private sector leadership
• Investing more in excellent areas:
Amsterdam area
Rotterdam area
Schiphol Airport and Port of Amsterdam, energy
Port of Rotterdam chemical industry
Logistics and tourism
Food, Health and Technology Valleys
Two ports and Energy Valley
Embedded systems and nanotechnology
FDI and key export sectors – the proof of the pudding
• Electronics
nanotechnology and embedded systems
• Life sciences
food and human health, strong R&D
• Chemical industry
specialty chemicals, novel materials
• Delta technology
flood protection, hydraulic engineering
• Water technology
sanitation and agricultural purposes
FDI and key export sectors – the proof of the pudding
• Food
Europe’s food and nutrition delta
• Flowers
genetics, greenhouses, growing, auctioning
• Infrastructure
land reclamation, coastal design
• Environment
soil remediation and environmental advice
• Transport equipment
luxury yachts, aerospace, aviation
• Machine industry
industrial refrigeration and food systems
Trade relations between The Netherlands
and Estonia
Trade between The Netherlands and Estonia
• Main Estonian exports to the Netherlands in the first 9 month of 2007:
• 1. Mineral products –
• 2. Machinery and equipment –
• 3. Wood and articles of wood –
• 4. Miscellaneous manufactured articles 10.8%
• 5. Live animals and animal products –
9.1 %
• Main Dutch exports to Estonia in the first 9 month of 2007:
• 1. Machinery and equipment –
24.9 %
• 2. Chemical products 13.7%
3. Vehicles, aircraft and vessels• 4. Vegetable products –
• 5. Plastics, rubber and articles thereof
Dutch investment profile in Estonia
• In September 2007 The Netherlands ranked third biggest foreign
investor (after Sweden and Finland) to Estonia.
• The share of investments amounted to 5 % of Estonian total foreign
direct investments to Estonia.
• Spheres most preferred by the investors have been:
• Financial services –
20 %
• wholesale and retail trade - 15 %
• manufacturing 22 %
• real estate, renting and business activities - 11 %
• transport, storage and communication 8%
• Some excamples of the Dutch investment:
• Linxtelecom, Tallinna Vesi, Keila Draca, Kunda Nordic Tsemnet,
Vopac EOS
How to find relevant business information about the Netherlands
A basic checlist before a market entry to the Netherlands
• Is there a market for my product?
• Does my product meet commercial and legal requirements?
• What are the most effective distribution channels for my product?
• Which promotional activities are most relevant for my product?
• How can I find the right business partner?
• Transport and packaging?
• VAT, Customs and Excise
The most important information gateway: (1/7) – Holland information (2/7)– Market Information (3/7) – Market Information
Sector Analyses (4/7)
• This page contains general fact sheets and in-depth
analyses of different sectors of the Dutch economy
– Biotechnology
– Creative Industry
– Environmental technologies
– Foods and Stimulants
– Horticulture
– Infrastructure
– Machinery and Equipment
– Services
– Sustainable Energy
– Water – Market Information Made in
Holland magazines (5/7)
• Made in Holland magazines are published by the EVD.
Articles, interviews, news updates and relevant sector
organisations can be found:
• All editions are available in English, selected issues have been
published in multiple languages
• Since 2004 there have been published 26 different sector specific
editions like: Dutch ICT, Dutch automotive industry, Dutch sport and
innovation, Dutch sanitation information, Dutch Life Science, Dutch
Supply Chain Logistics, Dutch Design products, Delta Technology etc.– Business information 6/7) – Trade Enquiry (7/7)
Other information gateways (1/6)
• The Agency for International Business and Cooperation
(EVD) is the central organ of the Dutch government
responsible for promoting internationalisation
• The agency provides companies with information and
services critical for the pursuit of new opportunities in all
• Estonian country officer: Mr. Rob Sterkman,
• Visiting Estonia November 3 – 7, 2008
•; +31 70 778 89 04
Other information gateways (2/6)
• The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce manages
the Dutch trade register.
• International trade consultants of the Dutch Chambers of
Commerce can provide you with the information about the
Dutch exporters. The list of international consultants:
In total there is 12 regional Chambers + central Chamber of
Commerce. In the Netherlands it is compulsory to be a
member of the Chamber of Commerce
More information in English:
Other information gateways (3/6)
• General trade
• Biotechnology enquiries
• Environment enquiries
• Food & agriculture enquiries
• Innovation
Other information gateways (4/6)
• The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) helping and advising foreign companies who wish to take
advantage of the Dutch business environment as a strategic
base to cover Europe.
• NIFA provides information and practical assistance free of
charge and on a confidential basis.
• From NFIA’s Knowledge Centre (accessible via their
webpage) it is possible to enter your specific request or
download a various range of Fact Sheets about the
Other information gateways (5/6)
• Embassy of the Kingdom ot the Netherlands in Tallinn
• Ms Kadri Pedas, Trade Attachè; +372 6805 521
Other useful organisations (6/6)
• Association of intermediaries:
• Netherlands franchise association:
• The Dutch dialogue marketing association:
• Market Research Association:
Most important trade fair organisers:
• (Utrecht)
• (Amsterdam)
Pioneers in international business

Dutch food for thought