The Netherlands Matters To Canada
“Canada’s relationship with the Netherlands is much bigger than most people think. It is a big, mature, multi-faceted relationship with extensive investment, innovation, trade and political engagement,” says William Pound, Senior Trade Commissioner, The Hague.
In 2012, it was the sixth largest goods exports destination globally for Canada and the hub of over 100 Canadian companies in Europe, employing over 15,000 people.
In terms of export growth, the Netherlands is now the second most important market in Europe.
The Netherlands was Canada’s second largest export destination in the European Union [EU] after the United Kingdom, outpacing Germany, France and Italy. That surprises people,” adds Pound.
- Canadian exports to the Netherlands in 2012 were more than $4.5 billion (Cdn)
- Canadian imports from the Netherlands in 2012 were more than $3.5 billion (Cdn)
- The Netherlands is Canada’s seventeenth largest source of imports in the world and fifth largest in the EU
The Netherlands: Business Matters
Often overlooked as a target market, the Netherlands embraces a global business environment and seeks to originate or integrate into global supply chains.
As well, the Netherlands is:
- the eighteenth largest economy in the world
- home to numerous major multinationals
- a key player in the global business scene
- like-minded with Canada and Canadians
The Netherlands is also the major source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Canada. From 2008 to 2011, the average stock of FDI in Canada was $55.6 billion (Cdn), making it Canada’s second largest source of FDI in the world.
According to Pound,
some countries pretend to be the centre of the world; whereas the Netherlands centres itself in Europe and the world, fostered by an incredible business services value chain that facilitates international business.
It’s three-pillar economic strategy of seaports, airports and brain ports wrapped in a stable, innovative economy where global linkages and international perspective create the ideal business ecosystem for Canadian companies.
It is also one of the more stable European economies based on the global enterprise of its population, gas wealth in the north, favourable business taxes and central location and role in Europe.
Ideal Entry Point For Strategic Expansion Throughout Europe
As a strategic entry point to the rest of Europe the Netherlands is poised to become even more significant with the forthcoming introduction of the historic Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The CETA is by far Canada’s most ambitious trade initiative, broader in scope and deeper in ambition than the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It will open new markets to Canadian exporters throughout the EU and generate significant benefits for all Canadians.
What this means for Canadians
On the day CETA enters into force, 98 percent of all EU tariff lines will be duty-free for Canada, providing exporters with a clear advantage over their competitors.
CETA’s most visible benefit is the ambitious obligation undertaken by Canada and the EU to eliminate tariffs. Some of these tariffs can be very high (for example, the EU tariff on frozen mackerel is 20 percent and the EU tariff on oats is around 51.7 percent), making imported goods uncompetitive in the market. Of the EU’s more than 9,000 tariff lines, approximately 98 percent will be duty-free for Canadian goods when CETA comes into force. This includes nearly 100 percent of non-agricultural tariff lines and close to 94 percent of agricultural tariff lines.
EU investment in Canada will increase
The stock of known Canadian direct investment in the EU was valued at almost $181 billion in 2012, representing over 28 percent of Canadian direct investment abroad. The same year, the stock of known EU direct investment in Canada was valued at more than $171 billion, representing over 24 percent of total foreign investment in Canada. CETA will help further promote Canada as a place to invest.
Do you think Canadian companies are doing enough to use the Netherlands as a launching pad to the rest of the European Union? Post your comments below.
Mr. William Pound, Counsellor (Commercial)
Senior Trade Commissioner, Aerospace, Defence and Security, Foreign Investment Attraction to Canada