In the first half of 2013, Dutch exports to Asia declined, according to calculations published on Thursday by Dutch financial newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad.
In the first six months of the year, the value of exports to seven major Asian countries, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, dropped by 9.7 percent, was calculated by Het Financieele Dagblad based on the latest figures by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). From 2004 to 2012 the value of exports to these countries increased by 168 percent.
The contraction in exports to China is still limited (-1.7 percent), and exports to Indonesia even increased by 14.6 percent, but exports to India (-13), Singapore (-14), Thailand (-14.5), Malaysia (-6.9) and South Korea (-21.2) fell sharply in the first six months.
The decrease is due to the slowdown of the Asian economies. In India, economic growth this year dropped to less than 5 percent, while the growth in China is still more than 7 percent. Consumers in these countries spend less and companies are investing less.
Exports to Asian countries is not crucial for the Dutch economy, but the importance is rising in recent years. In 2012, the seven countries formed a total of 4.7 percent of Dutch exports, while in 2004 this was only 2.8 percent.
China was the largest Asian market for the Dutch in 2012 with a total value of 7.6 billion euros. The total value of Dutch exports in 2012 was 430 billion euros (568 billion U.S. dollars).
Within the EU, Germany is the main exporter to China. Half of the EU exports to China come from Germany. However, on Wednesday the German bureau of statistics came up with similar figures. It announced that in the first half of 2013, the value of German exports to China fell by 5.9 percent and to India by 8.6 percent.