Nederland heeft goede handelsbetrekkingen met China. De Noorse overheid houdt deze ontwikkeling in de gaten en maakt analyses. Een van de beschrijvingen is op verzoek geopenbaard.
Wobber: Brenno de Winter
KGL. NORSK AMBASSADE HAAG
Saksbehandler: Wolbers Hendrik
Emne: The Netherlands. Economic relations with China
Til: Seksjon for Øst-Asia og Oceania
Prioritet: Ref. Off.loven:
UD’s saksnummer: 09/03625 Stasjonens saksnummer: Tilgangsgruppe:
(The embassy resends the report “The Netherlands. Economic relations with China” dated February 16 since some recipients, for technical reasons, did not receive the report in good order.)
Dutch Central Bank figures and reports in the Dutch press indicate relatively low Chinese direct investment activity in the Netherlands up until now.
Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency and Dutch experts foresee a strong rise in Chinese investments in the Netherlands.
China was the Netherlands’ third most important import country and 12th most important export country in the first 11 months of 2010.
Chinese Direct Investment to the Netherlands
According to figures provided by the Dutch Central Bank Chinese direct investment activity is relatively low in the Netherlands; direct investments from China to the Netherlands varied between -62 and 43 million euro between 2005 and 2009; the data does not provide a clear trend.
The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), a subsidiary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, sees a rising trend: “Chinese investments are making a rapid growth.” The agency’s conclusion is based on which companies it assists on investing in the Netherlands. More than half of the 155 investment projects that the NFIA supported in 2009 originated in Asia. Of the initial establishments of Asian origin nearly 50% comes from China, amongst which 11 marketing & sales offices and four European distribution centers.
Several Dutch experts expect a strong rise in Chinese investments in the future. According to Abe de Jong, professor in corporate finance at Erasmus University of Rotterdam, this is just the beginning. Haico Ebbers, chairman of the Europe China Institute at Nyenrode University, also expects China to invest on a large scale in European companies in the coming years.
Relatively few Chinese investments in the Netherlands are mentioned in the press. In 2009 the Chinese electric equipment maker Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing Corp. Ltd. completed the acquisition of the Dutch offshore wind turbines developer Darwind. In 2010 it became publicly known that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest bank ranked by market value, plans to open a branch
in Amsterdam. In December 2010 the Chinese company Xinmao was involved in a possible takeover of the Dutch cable manufacturer Draka, but stepped out of the bidding in January 2011.
In 2010 imports from and exports to China were at a record high. From January to November (data for December is not yet available) exports of goods from the Netherlands to China grew to 4.9 billion euro while the value of imports from China increased to 28.1 billion euro (see attached chart ‘Trade Netherlands – China.png’ ).
After a two years decrease, imports from China increased by 40.7% in the first eleven months of 2010 compared to the first eleven months of 2009, while total imports increased by 21.1% during the same period. With a share of 9% in total Dutch imports in 2010, China became the Netherlands’ third most important import country after Germany and Belgium, thus passing the United States which was third in 2009. Computers and telecommunication equipment are the main import products from China.
In 2009 exports to China increased by almost 20%, while total Dutch exports dropped relative to 2008. Exports to China increased by 16.6% in the first eleven months of 2010 compared to the first eleven months of 2009, while total exports from the Netherlands increased by 19.1% during the same period. China was the Netherlands’ twelfth most important export country in the first eleven months of 2010 and had a 1.4% market share in total Dutch exports of goods. Machinery equipment, raw materials and chemical products are the main export products to China. These three goods categories account for 77% of the exports.
Other examples of Dutch-Chinese economic activities
Below a few other examples of Dutch-Chinese economic activities are briefly mentioned:
Cosco Shipping Company Limited, one of the largest liner shipping companies worldwide, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority are jointly going to promote and raise the handling of steel and heavy lift cargo via the port of Rotterdam.
Several Dutch law firms have opened a China desk for Chinese related activities in the Netherlands; Houthoff Buruma, Everaert Advocaten and Van Mens & Wisselink. Furthermore, the law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek opened a branch in China in 2009.
The embassy’s comments
Chinese investment activity in the Netherlands is relatively low, but several articles discussing the increasing Chinese activity in the Netherlands have been published in Dutch newspaper during the last few months.
On the one hand increased trade with China is seen to benefit the Dutch logistical sector such as the harbour in Rotterdam. On the other hand there seems to be some caution regarding Chinese takeovers that are seen as possibly resulting in transfers of technology and loss of jobs.
Some parliamentarians in opposition have recently voiced concern regarding foreign takeovers and called for a more active involvement by Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Maxime Verhagen, while representatives from the prime minister’s party (VVD, the liberals) have
indicated that they do not see it as problematic if Dutch companies are taken over by foreign hands. Minister Verhagen will head an economic mission to China in May 2011.
The focus on economic relations with China might become stronger if the foreseen rise in Chinese investments in the Netherlands becomes reality.
Written by: Henk Wolbers (Advisor)
Approved by: Siri Nicolaisen (Minister-Counsellor)
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Sendt: 2011-02-22 13:07:42
Mottatt: 2011-02-22 13:08:49