Exporting to the Netherlands and Belgium

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This report provides information about food and agricultural export opportunities to Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherland, and Luxembourg).

The Netherlands: Because of the country’s strategic location on the North Sea and the Rhine, trade and distribution are ingrained into Dutch culture and economy. The Port of Rotterdam is among the most important sea ports in the world. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport occupies a similar position in Europe. Their geographic location and function as international hubs in Europe are seen as a major advantage. The ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam have outstanding infrastructure and logistics services. The Dutch are business people. The population is highly educated, internationally oriented and largely multilingual.

Belgium: The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) stresses that Belgian unemployment figures have weathered the economic crisis somewhat better than most other EU member states. Belgian unemployment is currently at 8.4 percent, compared to 10 percent in the Eurozone. Economic growth in 2010 amounted to 2 percent, against 1.7 percent in the Eurozone. It was mainly driven by a 20 percent growth in exports and higher household consumption. Similar to the situation in the Netherlands, the Belgians spend around 15 percent of their total spending on food.

Marcel Pinckaers