International Netherlands: The Machine building industry in the Netherlands is getting started

Von Stéphane Itasse

Is that why most German machine building companies are looking enviously to the West? In the last year itself the machine building industry in Netherlands saw a rise in the production by 5.2 %, significantly more than the overall industry. The prospects for 2015 are also good.

The Dutch manufacturing industry can currently profit from significant growth of corporate investments in their country.
The Dutch manufacturing industry can currently profit from significant growth of corporate investments in their country.
(Photo: Ministry of Economic Affairs (Ministerie van Economische Zaken))

After eight difficult years the Dutch seem to be have finally overcome the economic and financial crisis. The recent positive forecasts about the economic development are now confirmed by the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), as reported by the German-Dutch Chamber of foreign trade (AHK). The forecast for the economic growth in December 2014 was still at 1.2 %, the DNB has now corrected its forecast to 2 %. If the predictions come true, the economic volume could surpass that of 2008 before the global economic crisis spread due to the bankruptcy of the American bank Lehman Brothers, states the chamber.

The electronic and machine building industry in Netherlands has good growth rates

In 2014 itself Netherlands economy grew again by just 1 %, for this year the OECD expects an increase of 2 % and for 2016 an increase of 2.2 %. Such values are not forecasted for Germany. This is especially interesting from the perspective of manufacturing industry: In 2014 the corporate investments increased by 2.3 % and in the first quarter of 2015 by 7 %, according to the information given by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. “These good figures show that the companies are able to trust again and have the courage to invest. We must now give them more freedom for example with tax reductions by revising the tax system”, says the Economy minister Henk Kamp.


The weakness in the oil and gas branch is lowering the statistics for the overall industry. In the first quarter of 2015 the industry turnover sank in Netherlands by 4.4 % as compared to the previous year, announced the Statistics Office CBS. In the metal products industry the domestic sales increased whereas the foreign sales decreased. On balance there was a drop of 2.8 %, an increase in production is expected for the second quarter. According to CBS it looks better in the electronic industry and in the machine building industry. The production in the first quarter of the year 2015 increased by 3.2 % compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The activity should increase further in the second quarter.

Even small and average industrial companies in Netherlands are profiting from the boom

This situation was also reflected in the economic barometer of the KMU association Metaalunie (Royal Dutch Association of enterprises in Metal Industry). The hopes for a strong economic impetus in the first quarter ended in disappointment in view of the turnover achieved in reality. The barometer also showed that entrepreneurs were positive for the second quarter at the time of the upswing. According to Metaalunie one in three expected a better second quarter, only one in eight companies expected a deterioration. These hopes were primarily based on export.


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