Netherlands Looks Ahead to Post-Brexit World

The Netherlands looks ahead to changing trade relations in Europe as the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, the Dutch Consul General explained to a California Chamber of Commerce gathering last week.

Gerbert Kunst, Consul General at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, summarized for attendees at the CalChamber Council for International Trade breakfast on December 7 some of the consequences of the UK exit from the EU, including:

• Brexit is anticipated to have a negative effect on the economy, as the Netherlands and the UK have historically strong trade relations. However, it also presents opportunities to Dutch businesses as they will have certain advantages over their UK competitors that will no longer be part of the EU.

• The European Medicines Agency, comparable to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will be relocating from London to Amsterdam in 2019, along with nearly 20,000 jobs.

• Certain international companies in the UK are considering moving to mainland Europe, and the European Banking Authority will be relocating from London to Paris.

Gerbert Kunst, Consul General of the Netherlands

California-Netherlands Ties

Kunst reviewed aspects of the strong economic ties between California and the Netherlands:

• California exports to the Netherlands about $5.79 billion worth of goods, supporting 78,200 jobs in California.

• The Netherlands ranks as California’s ninth largest trading partner.

• The Netherlands exports to California about $1.5 billion worth of goods, mainly related to agriculture and machinery.

U.S.-Netherlands Connections

The trading connection between the United States and the Netherlands dates back to the earliest days of the European discovery of North American with Dutch ships arriving in New York, Kunst commented.

Today, the U.S.-Netherlands partnership means:

• $59.3 billion in goods and services are exported from the United States to the Netherlands. Texas, California, Louisiana, Illinois and Washington are the top exporting states.

• That economic activity supports 825,000 U.S. jobs.

• The United States imports $29.3 billion in merchandise and services from the Netherlands.

Investment ties also are strong, Kunst said, citing $300 billion invested in the United States by Dutch companies, making them among the top five foreign investors in the United States.

Moreover, $750 billion is invested in the Netherlands by U.S. companies, he said.

(From left) Mark Jansen, Blue Diamond Growers, chair, CalChamber Council for International Trade (CCIT); CCIT member Susan Corrales-Diaz, Systems Integrated; Walter van der Weiden, Consulate General of the Netherlands; and Gerbert Kunst, Consul General of the Netherlands.

Innovation

Kunst stressed that opportunities are available for partnerships with Dutch firms on energy projects, pointing to the nation’s pursuit of alternative sources, such as wind-powered turbines.

He also cited the Ocean Cleanup program founded by a Dutch inventor at age 17 to remove plastics from the world’s oceans.

World Class Center

Traits that make the Netherlands a valuable U.S. partner in economic and trade endeavors, Kunst said, include:

• Its access to 95% of the EU’s lucrative markets;

• The nation’s ranking as No. 1 on the Global Connectedness Index;

• 50% of Dutch gross domestic product (GDP) comes from international sources;

• The Netherlands ranks fourth in overall logistics performance and fourth in having the highest quality broadband network;

• 90% of the Dutch speak English; and

• The nation ranks No. 2 on the Global Innovation Index.

More information about the Netherlands is available at www.NLintheUSA.com and the CalChamber trading partner portal at www.calchamber.com/netherlands.

Staff Contact: Susanne T. Stirling

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Susanne T. Stirling
Susanne T. Stirling, vice president, international affairs, has headed the CalChamber international activities for nearly four decades. She is a gubernatorial appointee to the California Trade and Investment Advisory Council. She also serves on the District Export Council (appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce), the National Export Council Steering Committee, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Committee, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she now serves as a regent. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California.