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Going dutch: Doing business in the Netherlands

PESTEL analysis of Holland/Netherlands. Presentation based on official information from the Dutch government and financial institutions.

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Going dutch: Doing business in the Netherlands

  1. 1. GOING DUTCH Doing business in the Netherlands Antonio Rincon, Diogo Costa, Mariana Hansen
  2. 2. • International spirit of commerce – since 15th century, it has established global trade routes (Dutch East India Company), being today’s 5th largest exporter • Progressive and liberal society – See themselves as tolerant, independent and self-reliant – Value education, ambition, hard work, tolerance and ability – Extremely frank with a honest, efficient and friendly way of working • Multicultural environment – 22% of the population has a foreign background. On average, every day, 540 immigrants are registered, while 405 emigrants leave the country (CBS 2016) Socio - cultural • Human Capital – 17 million people ( May 2016), being 65.7% economically “active” (age group of 15-64 years) • Flexible, innovative, highly educated and highly productive workforce – 3rd in the world when it comes to productivity – US$ 64.6 per hour (The Conference Board 2015) – Netherlands ranks 2nd in the EF English Proficiency Index 2014. Around 90% of the population speaks English, and a good proportion also speaks German and French – Relatively high proportion of workforce is part-time, 39.9% (OECD 2015). Nearly 75% of the part-time workers are women
  3. 3. • Recycling and waste management – Top 5 in Europe – In the late 1980s, a change in waste management policy lead to a decrease in the amount of waste land filled from 35% in 1985 to 2.3% in 2010. Also the rate of recovery rose from 50% to 88% – Currently, 79% of the waste is recycled and the residual waste is mainly used for energy production. • Renewable energy – To achieve EU climate goals, it has set a target of increasing the use of renewable energy to 16 % of total consumption by 2023 – Offshore wind energy plays an important role in reaching that goal • Water management – World leader in water treatment – 99.9% of households have access to clean water • Successful environmental policy – Extended producer responsibility (EPR) – Financial instruments: landfill tax and volume-based waste fee Environmental
  4. 4. • Political climate has been very stable for decades • 8th among the cleanest countries when it comes to perceived level of public sector corruption • 5th most prosperous country in the world according to the United Nations Development Programme • Trade unions – 18% of employees are union members and the proportion is falling gradually every year – 2 main confederations: FNV and CNV Political • Tax incentives – Low corporate tax rate of 25% and 20% for profits up to 200,000 Euro – Profits from subsidiaries can be enjoyed tax free due to the full participation exemption and foreign branch exemption – For foreign-owned companies there are no withholding taxes on interest and royalties, and a full or partial reduction of withholding taxes on dividend • Tax treaties – The Netherlands has concluded tax treaties with a large number of countries so that direct taxes (e.g. income tax and dividend tax) are not levied twice. Ireland is one of them. • Import restrictions – preventing excepcionally low prices – Goods from outside the EU usually has to pay import duties plus VAT – All members of the EU apply the same common customs tariff (CCT) – Excise duty and consumption tax: alcoholic beverages, tobacco and mineral oils – Agricultural levies and anti-dumping duty on industrial products
  5. 5. • Consumer protection – Follows European Directive that ensures that consumers all over the European Union (EU) will have equal rights – The legislative proposal offers protection for consumers in the digital world. • Antitrust Law – Both European and Dutch competition law apply – Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, article 101 and 102 – The Dutch Competition Authority and the Dutch Competition Act 1998 • Data Protection Law – The Netherlands implemented the EU Data Protection Directive created on the 1st of September 2001 with the Dutch Personal Data Protection Act (DPA). Legal • Employment law – Dutch law grants employees a range of protections that create obligations and potential risks for employers – The requirement to establish a works council for every company with 50 employees or more – An obligation not to discriminate against employees – An obligation to pay employees at least the minimum wage – A full-time work week normally contains not more than 40 hours per week
  6. 6. • 5th most competitive economy in the world, according to Global Competitiveness Report 2015- 2016 • GDP – 679 billion Euro in 2015 • 17th largest economy in the world and the 6th largest in the EU • Over 300 foreign investments projects in 2015 – 2.04 billion US Dollars in capital investment, generating 9300 jobs. • 5th largest exporter of goods in the world. In 2015 exported goods worth almost US$ 668 billion (3.5% of world’s exports) Economic Overview • Trade and patterns for 2017 – Exports are expected to grow 6.3% annually to US$ 961 billion – Imports demand will grow with an average of 7.1% p.a. to US$ 903 billion, meaning that the country will be 8th largest importer in the world – Fuels, office telecom & electrical equipment and basic food will be the main imports, representing 52% – Exports will mainly consist of fuels, chemicals and basic food and they will represent 48% – Mainly imports will be from Germany, China and Russia (39%) – Main export markets will be Germany, Belgium and France (52%) • Indicators • Labour Costs • Levels of consumer’s disposable income – In 2016 Q2, Dutch households had more to spend than in the same quarter last year. Real disposable income was up by 2.1 %year-on-year (CBS) – Disposable Personal Income is expected to be 311687.92 Million Euro by the end of 2016 Q4 • 5.5% (OECD, 2016)Unemployment Rate • € 1,537.20 per month/month gross (2016) Minimum Wage • 60 hours/week Maximum weekly number of working hours • 1.25% per year (Average increase in the negotiated wages in the past 3 years) Average wage increase • 30% tax free allowance on wage tax Expatriates employees with specific expertise • 11.9%Self- employment
  7. 7. • Agri-food – 2nd largest exporter of agri-food products in the world. The sector contributes some 10% to the economy and employment • Chemicals – home to 19 of the top 25 leading chemical companies in the world • Creative – 7.1 billion Euro of annual turnover and ranks 8th place for creative export • Energy – leader in offshore, renewable and smart energy • Information Technology – contribution of 40% to economy Main Industries
  8. 8. • A logistic hub, ranked 2nd in the world for overall logistics performance. Holland is within 24 hours of 95% of Europe’s most lucrative markets, reaching over 170 million consumers – Port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and the annual throughput amounts to some 465 million tonnes. – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the 3rd in Europe and the 17th in the world for cargo. It connects 301 destinations in 99 countries – More than 14,000 km of road, including 2,235 km of limited- access, high-speed motorways – With 3,200 km of network, the rail system has direct connections to inland container terminals and links to destinations across the EU, Scandinavia and the Middle East Infrastructure and Technology • Digital Gateway to Europe with 100% fiber-optic network – quality, speed and reliability – World’s largest Internet exchange point– Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMX-IX) – Directly links continental Europe to North America, with 11 out of 15 transatlantic sea cables going directly to the Netherlands – Europe’s largest cyber security cluster – The Hague Security Delta • Home of big IT players - 60% of Forbes 2000 companies in the IT industry have already established operations in Holland – Asus, Google, Hitachi, HP, Microsoft, Sony, Cisco • R&D and Technology incentives – Innovation at its core – 70% of all Dutch innovation is IT related – 4th largest exporter of IT services – Tax incentives • R&D Tax Credit, Innovation Box and Innovation Credit
  9. 9. Agri-food – from farm to fork – Generates 7.5% of global exports in agricultural and food products, surpassed only by the US – 2nd highest private R&D investment rate in Europe. Five of the top 26 global agri-food companies have R&D facilities in Holland – Global market leader in machinery for processing with the turnover of 2,3 billion Euro of which 80% is exported – In 2015, the total export value of agricultural and agriculture- related products was around 83 billion Euro – Contribution of 52,3 billion Euro added value to Dutch GDP, 73 billion Euro in total production value, employing more than 660,000 people directly and indirectly Where to invest and Why Chemicals – integration and innovation – 56 billion Euro turnover (2% GBP) in 2014, being 49 billion Euro exclusive pharma – In 2014, production of 87 billion Euro – Around 80% of production is exported and it represents a fifth of all exported goods – Exports were valued at some 76 billion Euro (2014), being the 5th country for chemical export – 2.5% of its revenues to in-house research and development, which amounts to approximately 1.4 billion Euro per year Information and Communications Technology – 4th most advanced ICT economy (World Economic Forum 2015) – Value added to the economy of 26.5 billion Euro – Exports of 12.5 billion Euro, being 82% re-exports – Imports 70.7 billion Euro – 13.9 billion Euro invested in new media, cloud computing and gaming – 64,000 tech companies, employing 265,000 ICT personnel – COMMIT is the biggest ICT research project in The Netherlands, including 100 ICT companies, users and universities
  10. 10. Association of the Dutch Chemical Industry, 2016. Dutch Chemical Industry. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 October 2016] Digital Gateway to Europe, 2016. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 October 2016] European Commission, 2014. Antitrust Overview. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 October 2016] European Trade Union Institute, 2015. National Industrial Relations: Trade Unions. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 October 2016] Government of the Netherlands, 2016. Export, Import and customs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 October 2016] Government of the Netherlands, 2016. Tax treaties. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 October 2016] Hoppe, R., Woldendorp, J. and Bandelow, N.C., 2016. Netherlands Report: Sustainable Governance Indicators 2016. [pdf] Available at: http://www.sgi- [Accessed 7 October 2016] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2016. Holland Compared: Facts and figures. 2nd ed. [pdf] Available at: compared-2nd-edition-2016 [Accessed 7 October 2016] Reference list
  11. 11. Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, 2016. From Waste to Resources. [online] Available at: activities/national-waste/ [Accessed 14 October 2016] NBTC Holland Marketing, 2016. Holland. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 October 2016] Netherlands Enterprise Agency, 2016. Holland Trade and Invest. [online] Available at: [ Accessed 5 October 2016] Netherlands Enterprise Agency, 2016. Netherlands Enterprise Agency [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 October 2016] Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, 2016. Invest in Holland. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 October 2016] Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, 2016. Invest in Holland: One of the World’s Top Locations for Business. [pdf] Available at: [Accessed 10 October 2016] Port of Rotterdam, 2016. Fact and figures about the port. [online] Available at: Price waterhouse Cooper, 2016. Doing Business in the Netherlands Guide 2016. [pdf] Available at: [Accessed 13 October 2016] Statistics Netherlands, 2016. CBS. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 October 2016] Reference list