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Daily Dutch News in English

Growing number of Dutch exporters

In 2012, the number of export companies grew by 10 thousand to 126 thousand according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands. It has grown for the third consecutive year. Growth was most substantial in the services sector.

Last year, 126 thousand companies were engaged in exports of goods, i.e. 10 percent of the entire Dutch private sector. The number of exporters has grown by 10 thousand relative to one year previously. In the preceding years, the number of export companies has also grown by a rate of approximately 10 thousand a year. The growth is caused by the expanding private sector in the Netherlands, but also because Dutch exporters are resourceful entrepreneurs.

More goods exported by services sector
The largest increase in the number of companies engaged in goods exports was found in commercial and personal services. The services sector is also an important exporter of goods. IT companies, for example, mainly supplying IT services may also sell computer components or software. Research companies too sometimes manufacture and sell in-house developed products, like medical equipment, but the average export value per company in the services sector is lower than in manufacturing industry, e.g. the chemical or motor industry.

Growth based on small enterprises
In 2012, there was a notable increase in the number of small export enterprises. More than 100 thousand export firms employed fewer than 10 people and only 7 thousand export companies employed 50 or more people. This means that not only large multinational companies are engaged in exports of goods and services. On the contrary, most export firms tend to be small. This is not surprising because there are much more small enterprises in the Netherlands than large companies.

Number of exporters relatively high in the Netherlands
Dutch firms are more focused on exports than firms in other European countries. In 2010, 10 percent of Dutch companies were engaged in exports of goods and services versus a European average of between 6 and 7 percent.