In-depth country-focused analysis on the Netherlands' economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight


Our comprehensive assessment of the Netherlands' operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect the Netherlands, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact the Netherlands' industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in the Netherlands before your competitors.

Country Risk

Netherlands Country Risk

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Core Views

  • With the passage of legislation becoming increasingly obstructed by the Dutch government's loss of a majority in the Senate, the government is unlikely to serve its full term and we expect snap elections by year-end. The ruling VVD party is still likely to remain at the helm of the Dutch government, but supported by a more stable centrist coalition.

  • We have revised up our forecast for real GDP growth in the Netherlands as H115 readings for private consumption and exports have been stronger than we initially anticipated. However, the reduction of gas production at the Groningen field will partially offset the positive impact of stronger external demand from the eurozone.

Major Forecast Changes

  • We have notched up our headline growth forecasts by 0.2 percentage points...

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Netherlands Industry Coverage (11)


Netherlands Autos

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BMI maintains a nominally bullish outlook on autos sales in the Netherlands in 2015, forecasting a 3.3% uptick in volumes over the full year. This comes on the back of several years of sustained declines in vehicle sales volumes and low base effects from 2014. BMI maintains a relatively bearish outlook on the country's economic growth prospects for 2015, and this is weighing on autos sales as consumers and businesses delay purchasing decisions.

Autos production in the Netherlands remains limited. Volumes are low, and few companies maintain facilities in the country. Since 1999, vehicle production in the country declined almost every year up to 2011; we believe that the increase seen in 2013 (the latest figures available at the time of writing) and over our five-year forecast period to 2019 will be partly due to pent-up demand in the market, rather than a true recovery, and the sector...

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Food & Drink

Netherlands Food & Drink

BMI View:

BMI View: The Netherlands' economic growth will be supported by nascent recoveries in the domestic housing and labour markets. However, crushingly high levels of household indebtedness will prevent households harnessing growing eurozone growth momentum as much as other countries in the bloc.

Headline Industry Data (local currency)

  • 2015 per capita food consumption growth: +1.1%; forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2014 to 2019 = +2.5%.

  • 2015 alcoholic drink volume sales growth: -0.2%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2019 = -0.1%.

  • 2015 soft drink value growth: +1.7%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2019= +2.8%.

  • 2015 mass grocery retail sales growth: +4.2%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2019= +4.7%.


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Freight Transport

Netherlands Freight Transport

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BMI View: Over 2015, the Netherland's freight industry will post good growth, with rail freight seeing the strongest growth. In particular rail and road freight will benefit from rising domestic consumption, growth in Germany's economy and strong fuel demand across Europe. Over the medium term, we forecast rail to increase its market share as the sector will benefit the most from investments into European transport infrastructure and the removal of the sugar production quota in 2017. Air freight will post good growth but will continue to play a negligible role in the freight mix over our forecast period up to 2019.

Total trade in real terms is forecast to grow by 1.00% in 2015, a figure we see increasing over the medium...

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Netherlands Insurance

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BMI View: The Netherlands will remain one of the tougher European insurance markets to penetrate over the next few years as a highly competitive environment coupled with relatively modest growth in written premiums limits the opportunities for new entrants to gain a foothold. However, the non-life sector, which is the less consolidated of the two segments, will continue to offer some scope for growth, especially in the country's sizeable health insurance market, which is among the largest in the developed world.

The insurance sector in the Netherlands is among the most developed in Western Europe with both the country's life and non-life sectors home to a number of leading multi-brand firms, many of which have a significant international reach. However, as a result of this, both markets are relatively consolidated, particularly the life segment, where the six largest providers...

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Medical Devices

Netherlands Medical Devices

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BMI Industry View : The Dutch medical device market is expected to expand at a subdued rate over the next five years with a US dollar CAGR of 3.2% forecast for the 2013-2018 period. Despite downward pressure on costs, health expenditure is forecast to grow steadily due to the needs of the rising elderly population and this will be a primary driver in the market, although low economic growth and the austerity programme proposed by the new coalition government are likely to hold down growth rates. The operating environment within the healthcare sector is set to become even more competitive as a result of the government's latest reform programme, although this should favour more innovative forms of technology that offer cost saving features, particularly given the Health Ministry's proposals to...

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Netherlands Metals

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BMI View:  After back-to-back years of volatility in the Dutch metals sector, 2014 looks to have laid the foundation for a prolonged period of stability in terms of both production and consumption. This positive momentum in the sector is set to continue through to the end of our forecast period in 2018. BMI expects steel to continue to dominate the country's metals industry; however, we see no significant new investment in the sub-sector over the coming years. Tata Steel, the largest producer in the country, is facing up to an increasingly hostile and competitive operating environment, with cheap steel and aluminium being exported from China. Nevertheless, opportunities remain in high-quality steel, of which the Netherlands is a key producer.

Long-Term Growth In Output

After posting a contraction in both production and...

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Oil & Gas

Netherlands Oil & Gas

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BMI View: Strong legal, political and social pressures will see large gas production cuts at the key Groningen gas field from 2015 onwards. This will greatly reduce the Netherlands' role as a key swing gas supplier to Western Europe over the decade as early as 2015.

Headline Forecasts (Netherlands 2013-2019)
2013 2014e 2015f 2016f 2017f

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Netherlands Petrochemicals

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Although there are considerable downside risks over the short term, Dutch petrochemicals still offer some distinct competitive advantages over the medium-to-long term. Dutch petrochemicals production has several distinct advantages that should help it maintain its regional position: high level of integration, economies of scale and diversity of the product slate, according to BMI's latest Netherlands Petrochemicals report.

In 2014, the Netherlands had capacities of 3.98mn tonnes per annum (tpa) of ethylene, 675,000tpa of polyvinyl chloride, 95,000tpa of polystyrene, 1.9mn tpa of polyethylene, 780,000tpa of polypropylene and 450,000tpa of polyethylene terephthalate.

The rubber and plastic production index recovered strength in 2014 as manufacturing returned to growth with an average of 1.6% growth in 9M 2014, compared to -1.0% in 2013. Chemicals grew 2.1% while rubber and plastic rose 3.7% on...

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Netherlands Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

BMI View:

BMI View: The Netherlands has a well-developed healthcare sector and a highly competitive pharmaceutical industry. With the Dutch economy entering a cyclical growth upswing, we expect higher consumer spending will provide a small boost to pharmaceutical sales in the near term. We forecast the pharmaceutical market will return to growth in 2016, the first time since 2011. Over the long term, medicine demand will be driven by the country's ageing population. However, market potential will continue to be dampened by the patent cliff, rising use of cheaper generic products and further drug price restrictions.

Headline Expenditure Projections

  • Pharmaceuticals: EUR5.92bn (USD7.93bn) in 2014 to EUR5.83bn (USD6.41bn) in 2015; -1.5% in local...

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Netherlands Renewables

BMI View:

BMI View : While growth is expected to remain sluggish in 2015, with only a slow uptick forecast for 2016, our outlook for the Dutch renewable energy market in the medium term continues to improve. Particularly wind power is expected to see an increased development following the new offshore wind power bill. As doubts continue over the country's ability to reach its 2020 targets, the prime minister also held out the prospect of an increased SDE+ budget for 2016.

The lowering of renewable energy targets by the Dutch government from an initial 20% of the country's total energy mix by 2020 to 14% paired with reduced FiT payments in 2010 had brought fears over the government's commitment to the country's energy transition. Governmental incentives remain strong, however, planning to reach the 16%...

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Netherlands Telecommunications

BMI View:

BMI View: Convergence and bundling will drive down overall subscription numbers in the Netherlands, implying a saturated market lacking investment opportunities. Tele2 and Ziggo 's 4G launches show there are ample rewards for industry players. However, a successful mobile service must be married with a strong wireline offering. Thus, Tele2 may be found to be lacking, leaving Ziggo to capitalise on rising demand for mobile- and TV-led converged services.

Multi-play And Multi-User Packages Behind Falling Subscriber...

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