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.

Netherlands Country Risk

BMI View:

Core Views

  • Continued high support for the Nationalist party of Geert Wilders poses a threat to the established political parties in the upcoming elections. The result of the EU referendum vote in the United Kingdom will strengthen calls for a similar vote on the Netherlands which may be a point of contention in the formation of any coalition involving the PVV, which is likely to be among the top two largest parties.

  • The Netherlands economic growth is likely to slow as exports suffer from the impact of Brexit owing to the highly externally-oriented nature of the economy. This export reliance leaves the economy at risk from the potential for further shocks to EU integration. We have downgraded the Netherlands' real GDP growth forecasts for both 2016 and 2017 to 1.7% and 1.8% respectively, from 2.0% and 2.0%


Netherlands Industry Coverage (12)

Netherlands Autos

BMI View:

BMI View: The slow recovery in consumer sentiment will boost passenger vehicle sales in 2016. Passenger vehicle sales will continue to outpace commercial vehicle sales and maintain the majority of the total 539,052 vehicles sold in 2016.

Passenger Car Sales Numerically Leading The Way
Total Vehicle Sales And Passenger Vehicle Sales
f = BMI forecast. Source: National Sources,BMI

Netherlands Food & Drink

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BMI View: The Dutch food and drink industry will expand at a modest pace throughout our forecast period to 2020 on the back of existing sector maturity, providing only limited opportunities for investors. Demand for convenience and rising health awareness will affect consumption patterns, resulting in declining consumption of spirits in the alcoholic drinks sector as an example.

Food and Drink Spending
f = BMI forecast. Source: BMI, national statistics


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...

Netherlands Infrastructure

BMI View:

BMI View: The project pipeline in the Netherlands' construction sector is one of the healthiest in the region, with a significant number of power, transport and non-residential infrastructure projects planned or underway. The country is a highly attractive investment destination and while public spending may stagnate in the run-up to the next parliamentary elections the use of public-private partnerships is well established and both domestic and international construction firms are active in the market.

Latest Updates And Structural Trends

  • Several major transport and power infrastructure projects have been completed over H1 2016 leading to a slight downturn in these sectors, though healthier growth in residential and non-residential construction means that...

Netherlands Insurance

BMI View:

BMI View: As of Q4 2016, we remain of the view that the prospects for the Netherlands' mature and sophisticated insurance sector remain unexciting. In the life segment, we look for premiums to contract this year, in part due to competitive conditions. Over the long-term, the challenge for the Netherlands' life insurers is that many of the savings solutions which would normally be provided by the insurance sector are delivered by the country's massive pensions system. In the non-life segment, our forecasts for premiums are boosted by the continuing growth of the health insurance sub-sector. Demand for health insurance will be boosted by the ageing demographic profile and by inflation in medical expenses. Competitive...

Netherlands Medical Devices

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BMI Industry View : The medical device market in the Netherlands will continue to see above average growth within the eurozone. Despite downward pressure on costs, health expenditure is forecast to grow steadily due to the healthcare needs of the rising elderly population and this will be a primary driver in the market. However, the current austerity programme will hold down growth rates with the operating environment within the healthcare sector set to become even more competitive as a result of the government's latest reform programme. The drive for efficiency will favour more innovative forms of technology that offer cost saving features, particularly given the Health Ministry's proposals to support...

Netherlands Oil & Gas

BMI View:

BMI View: Strong legal, political and social pressures are and will continue to see large production cuts at the key Groningen gas field. This will greatly reduce the Netherlands' role as a key swing gas supplier to Western Europe over the decade, with net exports nearly disappearing by the second half of our forecast period.

Headline Forecasts (Netherlands 2014-2020)
2014 2015e 2016f 2017f ...

Netherlands Petrochemicals

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Dutch petrochemicals production is set for strong growth in 2016 following a disappointing 2015 when chemicals output fell 5.4% due in part to the shut-down of the Moerdijk cracker and associated butadiene production. The unit's resumption of activities should see it raise output to full operational capacity in 2016.

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.

The government's commitment to enhancing the business environment is reflected in its flexibility in modes of taxation on particular business operations. Financial incentives are also provided to promote research and development (R...

Netherlands Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

BMI View:

BMI View: We expect the Netherlands' pharmaceutical sector to return to growth in 2017, following an annual contraction of the market value since 2012. An ageing population and high per capita spending will drive medicine sales, ensuring the demand for prescription medicines remains high. However, despite an improvement in economic conditions, the rising cost of healthcare will put considerable pressure on the government to implement further cost- efficiencies.

Headline Expenditure Projections

  • Pharmaceuticals: EUR5.95bn (USD6.63bn) in 2015 to EUR5.97bn (USD6.39bn) in 2016; -0.1% in local currency terms and -3.6% in US dollar terms. Forecast revised upwards from last quarter.

  • ...

Netherlands Power

BMI View:

BMI View: Growth in the Dutch power sector will come mainly from non-hydropower renewable investments over our 10-year forecast period as plans to expand offshore wind capacity goes ahead. Conventional power investment will remain muted as the government tries to reduce carbon emissions from thermal power and the economic viability of nuclear power decreases.

Headline Power Forecasts (Netherlands 2015-2021)
2015e 2016f 2017f 2018f ...

Netherlands Renewables

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Renewables Headline Forecasts (Netherlands 2014-2020)
2014e 2015f 2016f 2017f 2018f 2019f 2020f
e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: EIA, National sources, BMI...

Netherlands Telecommunications

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BMI View: The European Commission (EC) has approved the joint venture between Liberty Global, owner of Ziggo, and Vodafone in the Netherlands. The only condition is that Vodafone must divest its consumer fixed-line business, the only strong area of overlap between the two companies. The joint-venture between Liberty Global's Ziggo and Vodafone creates a stronger competitor to incumbent KPN in the converged and quad-play market. While we are still sceptical that the deal can be replicated by the two operators in other European markets, the biggest issue domestically is whether regulators have the right tools and framework to ensure competition in an increasingly bundled market.

3G/4G to Support Saturated Market
Netherlands - Mobile Market Forecasts

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